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STATEWIDE — There have now been 45 cases of monkeypox confirmed in Indiana, 17 of which have been in Marion County.

This week the Tippecanoe County health department confirmed three new cases of the virus. Medical experts are rushing to make sure you know the facts about the virus and how it spreads. The only way you can really get it is through close personal contact with someone who is carrying the virus.

“There are particular groups that are at risk right now,” said Dr. Jerome Adams, former state health commissioner and U.S. Surgeon General on WISH-TV. “We know that men who have sex with men constitute over 90-percent of the cases. For the average person, you are at low risk for monkeypox right now. You are at much higher risk for the flu or COVID.”

There have been over 4,600 cases of the virus confirmed throughout the U.S. Adams is careful to clarify that even though the majority of those cases are men who have had sex with men, it is not exclusive to that community.

This week the first case in a pregnant woman was discovered, says the CDC.

Adams also added that monkeypox does not meet the standard to be called a sexually transmitted disease (STD), since it is not exclusively spread through sex.

“It’s been spread just by people living together in households, close contact,” said Adams. “This outbreak is different because we are seeing men having sex with men being the primary people who are impacted, but that’s because sex is close personal contact. It’s not that it’s inherently an STD.”

Monkeypox vaccines do exist and Adams believes the federal government should step up efforts to vaccinate people who may be most at risk.