LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Monkeypox continues to increase in Arkansas.

The Arkansas Department of Health is reporting Arkansas now has three cases of the monkeypox virus in the state as of July 22, up from a single case on July 5. The rare disease affects the person infected with a rash or sore (a pox) and flu-like symptoms.

According to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the monkeypox virus is on the rise globally, as well as in the United States. It is treatable, with testing as well as vaccines available.

Monkeypox is spread, according to CDC guidelines, by close intimate contact with someone already infected with the virus or by touching items such as clothing or linen which have been touched by someone infected. Unlike COVID-19 and its masking need, monkeypox is not spread through casual, brief conversations or walking by someone with monkeypox, like at a grocery store.

Arkansas Department of Health states symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle pain, and a painful rash that occurs seven to 14 days after exposure. The CDC states that in some cases, a rash breaks out without fever or body aches. The rash can occur in several places throughout the body. If someone thinks they are infected, they should check with their healthcare providers. Health care providers with infected patients are encouraged to contact ADH.