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

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

Since Monday, the total number of cases reported by the state has nearly doubled, from 37 people infected to 71 on Friday, August 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. Macomb County’s total doubled to 10 cases and Detroit’s total nearly doubled 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 often mild symptoms.

Related: Monkeypox vaccine available in Detroit as Michigan case count rises

The virus is most often spread through direct contact with an infected person’s rash, sabs, or bodily fluids. 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 to 2 weeks after exposure and the rash usually lasts 2 to 4 weeks, according to the MDHHS.

Federal authorities declared a public health emergency on Thursday, allowing an increase in emergency resources to fight the virus. The national tally soared 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, along with 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 distributed them to centers in Detroit, Oakland, Washtenaw, Kent, Kalamazoo, Ingham, Genesee and Grand Traverse counties.

Below is a map of reported monkeypox cases in Michigan. Hover over a county to see how many known cases have been identified.

Can’t see the map? Click here.

State health officials have asked local providers to prioritize the vaccine for those most at risk. At the same time, they “strive to use all vaccine doses as soon as they become available”.

More cases are expected in the coming months. If you think you have been exposed to the virus and/or are starting to experience symptoms, contact a health care provider or your local health department.

For the latest updates on the 2022 monkeypox outbreak, visit the CDC website or the Michigan monkeypox webpage.

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