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Oklahoma reports nine cases of monkeypox as infections grow nationally

Oklahoma is reporting up to nine cases of monkeypox.

A spokesman for the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) says there are six confirmed cases in central Oklahoma and three in the northeastern part of the state. Symptoms vary, but typically include rashes that start out flat but become raised. In this outbreak, the virus has often presented as a sexually transmitted disease.

Cases are growing across the country. According to this map from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 4,600 cases have been identified in the U.S. Of states bordering Oklahoma, Texas has the most cases with nearly 290.

The World Health Organization declared the virus a public health emergency last week, but the United States hasn't done so. Politico reported on Wednesday that the Biden Administration is expected to declare one in the coming days.

The health department says this could lead to increased funding for supplies and personnel.

If you think you have monkeypox, contact OSDH Epi-on-Call at 405-426-8710 for a free confidential consultation, or your health care provider for advice, testing and medical care. Health officials recommend self-isolating from others to protect them from infection and cover all possible blisters.

Catherine Sweeney reports for StateImpact Oklahoma, focusing on health.
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