ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Department of Health today identified additional cases of monkeypox virus in Minnesota residents, for a total of six cases.

All of the cases are identified in adults who live in the Twin Cities area. All people with cases so far have had a history of travel (including domestic travel) or direct contact with someone who traveled recently, but health officials expect that cases due to community spread could be identified soon, as other areas outside of Minnesota have noted spread within their communities.

None of the Minnesotans with cases are currently hospitalized and all are receiving medical care and recovering.

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While Minnesota’s case numbers are currently low, state health officials believe not all patients with monkeypox have sought testing or assessment by a health care provider and they are concerned that the number of infections could grow rapidly unless people who are at risk for monkeypox take steps to protect themselves, recognize when they may be infected, and seek medical care promptly if they are.

The virus is spread by close contact, typically skin-to-skin contact with rash, scabs or body fluids or contact with materials that have been contaminated with rash, scabs or body fluids, such as clothing or bedding, or prolonged face-to-face contact.

Monkeypox is less infectious than other diseases like COVID-19, measles, chickenpox and influenza; however, it can be easily spread by contact with skin lesions.

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