Contact your health department for a vaccine if you have been exposed to monkeypox

LANSING, Michigan – If you have been exposed to monkeypox or suspect you have been exposed, you should contact your local health department for vaccination.

It has been since Thursday 27 confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox in the state. As part of your answer, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a vaccine administration guide.

Antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox can be used to prevent and treat monkeypox infections. Press here to find out how to contact your local health department.

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“Although the vaccine supply is limited, we aim to use all vaccine doses as soon as they become available to help mitigate the spread,” said Dr. Natasha Baghdasarian, MDHHS Chief Medical Officer. “We have issued guidance to our local health department partners to ensure that those most at risk of MPV are prioritized. Michiganders who know they have been exposed to MPV or suspect they have been exposed should contact their local health department for vaccination.

Read more: Where is monkeypox in Michigan? Here’s a map of the cases and everything you need to know about the symptoms

More about vaccines

Two vaccines licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are available to prevent monkeypox infection – JYNNEOS (also known as Imvamune or Imvanex) and ACAM2000. No data is yet available on the effectiveness of these vaccines in the current outbreak, according to the CDC.

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There is also post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for monkeypox. People can be vaccinated after exposure to monkeypox to help prevent illness from the monkeypox virus. The CDC recommends that the vaccine be administered within 4 days of the date of exposure for the best chance of preventing the onset of illness.

What is Michigan doing?

MDHHS follows the following strategies when it comes to vaccination:

  • Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP): Vaccination of individuals after moderate or high-risk exposure to MPV to prevent disease.

  • Extended Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP++): Vaccination of individuals with risk behaviors in geographic areas, settings, events, or locations with known transmission of MPV in the past 14 days.

The CDC recommends that the vaccine be administered for PEP within four days of the date of exposure. If given between four and 14 days, it may reduce symptoms but may not prevent monkeypox.

How many vaccines does Michigan have?

Michigan has received more than 3,800 doses of JYNNEOS vaccine.

The vaccine was distributed to centers that will redistribute the vaccines to other areas of the state if needed.

The centers are in the following areas (phone numbers and links to county health departments are also posted):

Health departments may contact eligible individuals who have been identified as close contacts. If you know or suspect you have had contact with someone who has monkeypox, you should get in touch your local health department For more information.

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Who can get monkeypox?

MPV is a disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus.

Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal contact, often skin-to-skin.

It belongs to the genus Orthopoxvirus, which also includes variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus. It is not related to chicken pox.

It is known to spread through the following methods:

  • Direct contact with MPV rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with MPV. This is believed to be the most common way the MPV is distributed in the US right now

  • By coming into contact with someone with MPV during normal activities such as sex, hugging, massaging, kissing and prolonged face-to-face contact

  • Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding or towels) and surfaces that have been used by someone with MPV.

  • Contact with respiratory secretions.

If you feel unwell or have a rash, do not attend gatherings and see a doctor.

The CDC urges health care providers to be alert for symptoms of monkeypox, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

Although many of those affected in the current outbreak are part of the LGBTQ+ community, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has MPV can contract the disease.

Symptoms of monkeypox

Symptoms usually appear one to two weeks after infection. Sometimes people get a rash first and then other symptoms. Others just get a rash.

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Symptoms of monkeypox include the following:

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Muscle aches and back pain

  • Swollen lymph nodes

  • Shivering

  • Exhaustion

  • A rash that may look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, in the mouth, and on other parts of the body, such as the arms, legs, chest, genitals, or anus.

Read: More monkeypox coverage

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