Monkeypox confirmed in Michigan; first case is in Oakland County
An Oakland County resident is the first confirmed case of monkeypox in the state, Michigan public health officials reported Wednesday,
Neither Michigan Department of Health and Human Services nor Calandra Green, Oakland County health officer, would release any details about the person infected.
“I can tell you that the person is isolating at this time,” Green said.
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The person “poses no threat to the public,” she added.
The health department has begun contact tracing, but Green noted the disease is contagious only when a rash is present and until scabs fall off, which is typically two to four weeks.
Monkeypox is spread through “direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, bodily fluids or prolonged face-to-face contact,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Michigan's chief medical executive .
Monkeypox has been detected in residents of 27 states and Washington, D.C., with a total of 349 cases prior to the announcement of Michigan’s case, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Monkeypox was first detected in the United States on May 18 and has been found in 50 other countries, with the United Kingdom reporting the most cases, 1,076, according to the CDC.
The viral disease is not usually fatal, and symptoms are similar to smallpox, but milder: fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion and a “rash that looks like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
However, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk.
The CDC has said it’s not clear how people have been exposed to the virus, but early data suggest that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up a high number of cases.
The 2022 outbreak has refocused attention on the viral disease first discovered in 1958 when the pox-like disease occurred in research monkeys, and then spread to humans in 1970, according to the CDC.
The vaccines will be first distributed to areas where monkeypox has been detected.
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