LANSING, MI — The first probable case of monkeypox was discovered in Michigan.
State health officials said Wednesday an Oakland County resident was recently tested at a state laboratory and found to be presumptively positive for orthopoxvirus, the family of viruses that includes monkeypox (MPV).
Confirmatory testing for the case is ongoing at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Oakland County resident is in isolation and poses no risk to the public, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) said in a June 29 news release.
MDHHS is working with local health authorities to notify all of the person’s close contacts. To protect the individual’s privacy, MDHHS officials say they will not release any further details about the case.
“MDHHS is working closely with local health authorities and providers across the state to protect the health of Michigan residents through rapid detection and response,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Chief Medical Executive at MDHHS.
“Monkeypox is a viral disease spread primarily through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, bodily fluids, or prolonged personal contact. It is important to remember that the risk to the general public is low. However, Michiganders who have concerns about monkeypox should have their provider evaluated for testing.”
In the US, there are 306 confirmed cases of monkeypox in 27 states and Washington, DC, according to the CDC. A total of 5,115 cases have been confirmed in 51 countries, including the United States, since the global outbreak began.
The virus is transmitted through close skin-to-skin contact with lesions, body fluids, or other material contaminated with the virus. The virus is not considered airborne, but can be transmitted by droplet infection.
Bagdasarian previously told MLive that monkeypox is not the type of illness someone can contract from visiting a grocery store or interacting with a casual acquaintance. Bagdasarian said it required much closer contact than with an infected person.
Related: No monkeypox cases in Michigan; State health officials want it to stay that way
State health officials say the infection could start with flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph nodes. The infection develops into a rash on the face and body. Symptoms can include fever, headache, muscle and back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills, fatigue, and a rash that can look like pimples or blisters.
These rashes can appear on the face and mouth, as well as other parts of the body such as the hands, feet, chest, genitals, and anus.
According to the MDHHS, symptoms typically appear one to two weeks after exposure and infection. The rash often lasts two to four weeks.
Monkeypox is contagious when the rashes are present and until the scab falls off.
Individuals experiencing these symptoms should contact their doctor for evaluation. State health officials say that while anyone can contract and spread the virus, early data suggests men who have sex with men account for a high number of first cases.
Healthcare providers encountering a suspected case of monkeypox should first contact their local health authority or MDHHS to coordinate specimen collection and testing.
State health officials encourage health care providers to have a high level of suspicion for monkeypox, particularly in people with reported risk factors, because of the disease’s often atypical manifestation.
Although there are no specific treatments for monkeypox, the virus is genetically similar to smallpox, meaning that antiviral drugs and vaccines designed to protect against smallpox can be used to prevent and treat MPV infection.
Antivirals such as tecovirimat may be recommended for people who are more likely to become seriously ill, such as B. Patients with a weakened immune system.
For more information, see CDC.gov/Monkeypox. The Oakland County On Call Nurse is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 800-848-5533 or [email protected] to answer questions.
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