Michigan launches monkeypox website, Oakland Co. forms task force

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State health officials launch website to educate Michiganders about monkeypox, and Oakland County forms task force to respond to monkeypox outbreak as confirmed cases surge across the country state and national level.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday that it has launched a new website at Michigan.gov/mpv that includes information on case counts by jurisdiction, signs and symptoms, and resources for the public and health care providers.

As of Wednesday, there were 19 confirmed infections in Michigan: eight in Oakland County, four in Detroit, three in Macomb County, two in Kent County and one in Wayne and Washtenaw counties, the department said. of state health.

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On Thursday, Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter plans to announce a new task force to combat the monkeypox outbreak through education, care coordination and vaccine distribution. The federal government must also be asked to increase and expedite the supply of vaccines that can be used to prevent disease or limit the severity of symptoms.

Calandra Green, Oakland County Health Officer, will lead the task force and plans to discuss the county’s role in mitigating community spread, including contact tracing.

The state’s first probable case of monkeypox, announced three weeks ago, was an Oakland County resident.

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2,100 people in the United States have been diagnosed with confirmed monkeypox. He said there had been more than 14,500 cases worldwide.

“MPV is a viral disease that is spread primarily through direct contact with infectious rashes, scabs, bodily fluids, or prolonged face-to-face contact,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, the state’s chief medical officer. “It is important to remember that the risk to the general public is low. However, Michiganders concerned about MPV should have their supplier evaluated for testing.

State health officials said the CDC is urging health care providers to be mindful of patients who have rashes consistent with monkeypox, whether they have travel or specific risk factors and what regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

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Many of those affected by the global outbreak are men who have sex with men, but state health officials have said anyone who has been in close contact with someone with monkeypox can contract the disease. .

There is an antiviral medication called tecovirimat, also known as TPOXX, that can be prescribed. State health officials said monkeypox treatments have not been pre-rolled to states by the CDC and will continue to be available through the National Strategic Stockpile.

As of July 8, there were more than 700 confirmed cases in the United States according to the CDC.

There is a smallpox and monkeypox vaccine called Jynneos that can be used to prevent disease or limit the severity of symptoms. It can be used after exposure to monkeypox to prevent illness or make it less severe in people aged 18 and over. It is administered in two injections spaced four weeks apart.

The sooner the vaccine is given after exposure, the better. Ideally, a person who has been exposed to monkeypox should get vaccinated within four days of exposure to prevent illness, or four to 14 days after exposure to limit the severity of illness, according to the CDC.

Michigan health officials said states receive vaccine allocations from the strategic national stockpile based on the number of cases and the size of the underlying at-risk population.

On Tuesday, 191,372 doses of Jynneos were distributed from the strategic national stockpile to jurisdictions to support local monkeypox response efforts, according to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. .

It says an additional 2.5 million doses have been ordered, which will bring the federal government’s supply to more than 6.5 million doses.

Michigan’s distribution was 1,806 doses, according to Jynneos delivery data to be released every Wednesday.

The state health department confirmed Michigan had received a limited supply of vaccines and limited additional allocations were to follow in the coming months, but said specific quantities and timelines were not yet known. .

State health officials said a local health department may come into contact with eligible people who have been identified as close contact with a case of monkeypox about receiving the vaccine.

Writer Kristen Jordan Shamus contributed to this report.

Contact Christina Hall: [email protected] Follow her on Twitter: @challreporter.

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