There are no cases of monkeypox in Michigan; public health officials want it to stay that way

Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services is closely monitoring the spread of monkeypox, but the state’s chief physician says the rare disease does not pose the wide-ranging risk COVID-19 poses to communities across the nation.

“This is not something I would like to panic the general public, put everyone on high alert or make everyone think of monkeypox,” said Dr. Natasha Baghdasaryan, Michigan’s chief medical officer, on Wednesday. June.

There have been no known or reported cases of monkeypox in Michigan since Wednesday, a viral disease recently reported in several countries that do not typically detect monkeypox, including the United States.

As of mid-May, there have been a total of 35 cases in 15 states. Most were registered in New York, where there were eight, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It may be found here, Baghdasaryan said.

“I think we are doing our due work,” she said. “We work very closely with local health departments, with our clinical partners, making sure they know what to look out for, what to test and just make this process as simple as possible.”

Also unlike COVID, new and unknown when it appeared in 2019, monkeypox is not new; infects people for about 50 years. Doctors and scientists have had the opportunity to study and study his transmission, Baghdasaryan said.

It is spread by close contact, skin to skin, with lesions, body fluids or with materials contaminated with the virus. It can be transmitted by respiratory droplets, but is not considered airborne, which means that it spreads over long distances. This is not a disease that people catch only when visiting a grocery store or communicating with a casual acquaintance, Baghdasaryan said. “It’s usually a much closer contact than that.”

Mass or universal masking is no longer recommended.

The symptoms are similar to those of smallpox, eradicated in North America in 1952. It begins with fever, headaches and muscle aches and exhaustion. Within one to three days or more, patients develop a rash, often starting on the face, according to the CDC.

The lesions go through several stages and then disappear, according to the CDC.

Anyone who has survived chickenpox, from which children are now vaccinated, would understand such an unpleasant process, Baghdasaryan said. “And we definitely want to limit broadcasting in this country.”

It is not clear how people have been exposed to monkeypox, but early evidence suggests that gays, bisexuals and other men who have sex with men account for a large number of cases. “However, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk,” the CDC said.

Those at risk also include Americans who have traveled to areas where monkeypox is reported or common, Baghdasaryan said, and people who have had contact with a dead or living wild animal or an exotic pet from Africa, according to the CDC. .

Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 in monkey colonies. The first human case was reported in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to the CDC. It has since been reported in several other African countries.

Antiviral drugs designed for use in patients with smallpox may be useful, the CDC reports. There are also vaccines licensed in the United States to prevent smallpox, and the smallpox vaccine can protect people from monkeypox. The CDC recommends that a vaccine be given within four days of exposure to prevent the onset of the disease.

Vaccines and therapies are available through the federal government and will be mobilized in Michigan if necessary, Baghdasaryan said.

Chelsea C, an associate public information officer for public health, said in an email that other infectious diseases could be similarly spread through close contact, especially in crowded spaces. People should usually avoid large gatherings when they have a fever, chills or feel unwell.

Although there is no widespread, overall danger, “we still ask people to look for new and unexplained skin rashes with fever and chills, especially if members of society do have risk factors,” Baghdasaryan said.

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