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 declared a public health emergency over the outbreak.

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

Ingham, Ottawa, St. Clair and Livingston counties have 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 milder symptoms more often.

Related: Monkeypox Vaccine Available in Detroit as Number of Cases Rises in Michigan

The virus is most often spread through direct contact with the rash, scabs, or bodily fluids of an infected person. 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 typically appear 1 to 2 weeks after exposure, and the rash typically lasts 2 to 4 weeks, according to the MDHHS.

Federal officials declared a public health emergency Thursday, allowing for an increase in emergency resources to combat 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 a 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 instructed local providers to prioritize the vaccine for those most at risk. At the same time, they are “making efforts to use all doses of the vaccine as soon as they are available.”

More cases are expected in the coming months. If you think you have been exposed to the virus and/or start experiencing 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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