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Growing number of monkeypox cases in Arkansas



Little Rock, Arkansas – The Arkansas Department of Health reports the highest number so far since the outbreak.

As of Friday, September 2, there are 41 cases in the state.

The virus spreads through close, skin-to-skin contact, according to the ADH.

According to Dr. Atul Kothari with the Department of Health, while anyone can be at risk of catching it through things like clothes or bedding, it does target a specific group of people.

“It’s predominantly amongst men and it seems to be transmitted by close contact,” Kothari said. “A lot of them occur in men who have sex with men.”

Specifically, men who have sex with men who:

• have had multiple sex partners within the last year OR
• engage in anonymous group sex OR
• engage in sex at venues or events OR
• diagnosed with HIV

Dr. Kothari said his concern is for more than just case numbers. “The concern is not that we’ll see thousands of cases, but access to care, getting patients in for testing and treatment as quickly as possible.”

A major part of preventing further spread is vaccines. “We’ve been providing the monkey pox vaccine for about two and a half weeks,” said Scott Pace, owner of Kavanaugh Pharmacy in Little Rock.

According to Dr. Kothari, he has seen an increase in demand for the shots recently, and his pharmacy has given out around 15 in the last week.

The virus can be extremely serious if it is not treated properly and early on, Dr. Kothari said.

With vaccines available, those at risk can get ahead of the virus as much as possible, Pace said. “It’s encouraging that we have a prevention option on the table,” Pace said.


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