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The Washtenaw County Health Department (WCHD) has identified the first confirmed monkeypox (MPV) case in a Washtenaw County resident. This individual had recently traveled out of state, where they were exposed and developed symptoms. There are no close contacts associated with this case in Washtenaw County. The confirmed case is currently isolating out of state and does not pose a risk to the public.
Monkeypox isn't a new illness, but we normally don't see it here in the US. As of 7/20/22, 19 confirmed monkeypox cases have been identified in Michigan. Risk is low for the general public, but it’s important to be aware of the signs of monkeypox.
Monkeypox belongs to the Orthopoxvirus family of viruses. Monkeypox is a viral illness that spreads primarily through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, bodily fluids or prolonged face-to-face contact. Monkeypox infection may begin with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes that progresses to a rash on the face and body. Symptoms can include:
Monkeypox is contagious when a rash is present and up until scabs have fallen off. Symptoms generally appear one to two weeks after exposure and infection, and the rash often lasts two to four weeks. Anyone can contract and spread monkeypox. Early data from this outbreak suggest that men who have sex with men make up a high number of initial cases.
There are no treatments created specifically for monkeypox infections. Antivirals created for other illnesses, such as such as tecovirimat, may be recommended for people who are more likely to get severely ill, like patients with weakened immune systems. Monkeypox vaccines can be given post-exposure (within 4-14 days of exposure) and can help prevent the individual from developing the illness. Self-isolation and other prevention measures are important for controlling outbreaks and preventing further transmission of monkeypox.
Monkeypox testing is available locally. If you may have been exposed or if you have a new or unexplained rash, sores, or other symptoms, avoid others and contact your health care provider for testing. If you don't have insurance or a health care provider, call the Health Department at 734-544-6700.
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