COVID-19 cases in Indiana have increased although monkeypox cases remain low.
Monroe County reported 48 COVID-19 cases and zero deaths in the past week. Indiana reported 3,697 cases this week and 19 deaths.
Many cases continue to go unreported due to the increased use of at-home tests.
Over the summer, IU removed its COVID-19 dashboard. However, students can still get free PCR tests through drop-off testing and up to four free antigen tests per month from vending machines in the Indiana Memorial Union and the McNutt center building.
Anyone older than six months can now receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination appointments can be made at ourshot.in.gov.
Updated vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer are now available. The vaccine targets the BA.4 and BA.5 coronavirus variants, which have evaded prior versions of the vaccine more easily. These variants currently make up all new coronavirus cases in the U.S.
Last Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration approved the new bivalent COVID-19 vaccines for younger children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the vaccines shortly after.
Individuals can now receive the Pfizer vaccine if they are 5 and older, and the Moderna vaccine if they are 6 and older. To receive the shot, individuals must have completed the entire COVID-19 vaccine series and wait at least 2 months after the last booster and 3 months after testing positive for COVID-19.
Find the clinics nearby offering the new vaccine here.
There have been 250 cases of monkeypox reported in Indiana since the first case in June. There have been 4 new cases since last week’s increase.
Most cases have been concentrated in central Indiana, with 38.8% of cases affecting those 18 to 29, according to the Indiana monkeypox dashboard.
Last week, officials confirmed two monkeypox deaths in New York and Nevada, bringing the official CDC death count to four. The other two deaths occurred on Sept. 12 in California and Sept. 29 in Ohio.
Shortly after, officials confirmed a death in Maryland, another death in New York and two deaths in Illinois.
Earlier this week, the CDC released a report that found 82% of hospitalized patients with monkeypox also had an HIV infection. Almost all patients were male, at 95%, and 68% of patients were Black.
The main symptom of monkeypox is a rash that resembles pimples or blisters. Other symptoms of monkeypox include fever, cough and nasal congestion. Symptoms of severe manifestations of monkeypox are necrotic lesions that may require amputation, bowel lesions causing obstruction and lesions that affect essential organs, like the heart, eyes, lungs and brain.
Positive Link at IU Health is offering monkeypox vaccines for high-risk individuals at its weekly vaccine clinic on Tuesdays. Positive Link also offers resources for those at risk for HIV infection such as pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis medications. The Monroe County Health Department offers free and confidential referrals as well as sterile needles and syringes for harm reduction.