Michigan’s first case of suspected monkeypox in Oakland County

The infected person is quarantined and not a threat to others, officials say

click to enlarge Electron microscopic image of monkeypox virion. - Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery
Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery
Electron microscopic image of monkeypox virion.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services identified the first probable monkeypox (MPV) case in an Oakland County resident Wednesday.

Preliminary testing returned a “presumptive positive” result for Orthopoxvirus. Monkeypox is in the Orthopoxvirus family. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is performing more tresting to confirm that it is in fact monkeypox.

According to the MDHHS, the infected individual is currently isolating and does not pose a risk to the public.

“Monkeypox is a viral illness that spreads primarily through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, bodily fluids or prolonged face-to-face contact,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, a MDHHS chief medical executive. “It is important to remember that the risk to the general public is low. However, Michiganders with concerns about monkeypox should see their provider to be evaluated for testing.”

Low-risk is great news, but it also appears that Michigan doesn’t have the vaccine used to treat MPV.

MDHHS spokesperson Lynn Sutfin told the Detroit Free Press that Jynneos, the smallpox vaccine used to prevent or decrease symptoms of MPV, has only been distributed to states with recorded outbreaks of the virus so far.

"States have not been allocated vaccine prior to identification of a case," Sutfin told the Free Press.

She said MDHHS will order Jynneos vaccines “as appropriate” as they work with local health departments to identify any high-risk contacts.

Worldwide, 5,115 cases of MPV have been confirmed in 51 countries, including the United States. According to the CDC there have been 306 confirmed cases in the U.S. to date.

Symptons are flu-like including fever, headache, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes that progress to rashes on the face and body. MPV is contagious when a rash is present up until scabs have fallen off.

MDHHS recommends those experiencing MPV symptoms contact their health care provider for evaluation.

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About The Author

Randiah Camille Green

After living in Japan and traveling across Asia, Randiah Camille Green realized Detroit will always be home. And when she says Detroit, she's talking about the hood, not the suburbs. She has bylines in Planet Detroit News , Bridge Detroit , BLAC magazine, and Model D . Her favorite pastimes are meditating...
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