Monkeypox cases nearly double in Michigan as virus becomes public health emergency

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Michigan has seen a spike in its known monkeypox infections as US officials declared a public health emergency amid the outbreak.

Since Monday, the state’s number of reported cases has nearly doubled, from 37 infected people to 71 on Friday, Aug. 5. The state’s first case was reported on June 29.

Ingham, Ottawa, St. Clair and Livingston counties joined the list this week with their first reported cases, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Also contributing to the addition was Macomb County’s total doubling to 10 cases, and Detroit’s total nearly doubling from 10 to 19.

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. It comes from the same family of viruses as smallpox, with more frequent milder symptoms.

Related: Monkeypox vaccine available in Detroit as Michigan cases rise

The virus is usually spread through direct contact with the rash, sabs, or body fluids of someone who is infected. Symptoms often include a rash that looks like pimples or blisters, as well as fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion.

An infected person is contagious as long as the rash is present and until the scabs have fallen off. Symptoms usually appear 1-2 weeks after exposure, and the rash usually lasts 2-4 weeks, according to MDHHS.

Federal officials declared a public health emergency on Thursday, making more emergency resources available to fight the virus. The national count has risen to more than 7,100 cases, led by 1,748 cases in New York, 826 in California, 577 in Florida and 571 in Illinois.

The White House says it has made more than 1.1 million doses of the Jynneos vaccine available, as well as increased testing capacity from 6,000 tests per week to more than 80,000.

Michigan has received more than 3,800 doses of the vaccine and has distributed it to hubs in Detroit, Oakland, Washtenaw, Kent, Kalamazoo, Ingham, Genesee and Grand Traverse counties.

Below is a map of the reported cases of monkey pox in Michigan. Hover over a province to see how many known cases have been identified.

Can’t see the map? Click here.

State health officials have instructed local suppliers to prioritize the vaccine for those most at risk. At the same time, they aim to “use all doses of vaccine as soon as they are available.”

More cases are expected in the coming months. If you believe you have been exposed to the virus and/or are starting to develop symptoms, contact a healthcare professional or your local health department.

Visit the CDC website or Michigan’s Monkeypox webpage for the latest updates on the monkeypox outbreak in 2022.

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