Work is underway to find contacts in both states. Preliminary testing has been carried out at state health department labs and confirmation testing is pending at U.S. centers for disease control and prevention labs.
“The risk of monkey flu among the general public continues to be very low,” Indiana Health Commissioner Dr Chris Fox said. “Monkeys are rare and do not spread easily through brief casual contact.”
The health department in Houston, Texas, confirmed its first monkey flu on Saturday.
“The resident developed symptoms after returning from the trip and is experiencing mild illness,” the Houston Department of Health said in a written statement. “The resident was not admitted to the hospital and was isolated at home.”
The monkey is a rare infection, a much less serious relative of the now extinct giant virus. It is native to parts of West and Central Africa and is generally contracted from rodents or small mammals. It does not spread easily from one person to another.
However, the monkey box virus is spread by contact with body fluids, monkey sores, or items contaminated with the virus, such as clothing and bedding. According to the CDC, it is usually spread from person to person through respiratory droplets in an intimate setting.