LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Monkeypox continues to spread in Arkansas, with additional counties and infection numbers added to this week’s totals.
The Arkansas Department of Health reported Friday that the state now had 14 of its 75 counties with at least one infection within its borders. Seven days ago, the number of Arkansas counties with reported infections was 12.
For Friday, the state has 50 cases of the disease, up from 41 seven days ago, a 22% jump for the single-week period. On July 3, the state had its first case of monkeypox reported.
Pulaski County has the largest number of cases in the state, with 30 recorded, up from 25 a week ago. Faulkner and the northwest’s Washington counties continue to list three cases each. Benton, Crittenden and Desha counties each have two cases each, with Benton and Crittenden having a single case a week ago.
The remainder of the counties listed by ADH: Pope, Cross, Lee, Lonoke, Saline, Garland, Hot Springs and Craighead, have a single case. Hot Springs and Craighead counties are the two additions to this week’s list.
Demographics are also changing. Last week ADH reported zero percent of female infections in the state. Female infections with monkeypox are now two percent, with unknown gender four percent. By race, black is listed as 58% of reported infections, whites as 32%, Asian as 4% and “other” as 6%. On a side note, ADH states individuals who identify as Hispanic make up 12% of its recorded case numbers.
Last week the 25-34 and 35-44 age groups had an equal number of infections at 13 each. For Friday, the 25-34 age group has the largest number of cases at 19, with the 35-44 group second in line with 16 cases. The 18-24 age group is unchanged with four cases. The 45-64 age group is recorded with 10 cases, and the 55-64 group remains with a single case.
On Sept. 8, the department of health and the Little Rock School District circulated letters regarding an in-school exposure, which the school district classified as low risk.
The National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states the nation has 21,504 cases.
Vaccines are available in 14 Arkansas counties, with the locations mapped on the health department’s monkeypox web page.