LANSING, Mich. – If you have been exposed to monkey pox or suspect you have been exposed, you should contact your local health department for vaccination.
As of Thursday, there have been 27 confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox in the state. As part of her response, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued guidelines for the administration of the vaccine.
Antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox can be used to prevent and treat monkeypox infections. Click here to find out how to contact your local health department.
“Although the vaccine supply is limited, we are trying to use all doses of the vaccine as soon as they become available to help mitigate the spread,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. “We’ve issued guidance to our local health department partners to help prioritize those most at risk of MPV. Michigan citizens who know they have been exposed to MPV or suspect they have been exposed should contact their local health department to get vaccinated.
More about vaccines
Two vaccines licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are available to prevent monkeypox infection – JYNNEOS (also known as Imvamune or Imvanex) and ACAM2000. No data is yet available on the effectiveness of these vaccines in the current outbreak, according to the CDC.
There is also a post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for monkeypox. People can be vaccinated after exposure to monkeypox to help prevent disease from the monkeypox virus. The CDC recommends that the vaccine be given within 4 days of exposure for the best chance of preventing illness.
What is Michigan doing?
MDHHS is following these strategies when it comes to vaccination:
Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP): Vaccination of individuals after intermediate or high-risk exposure to MPV to prevent disease.
Enhanced Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP++): Vaccination of individuals with risky behavior in geographies, settings, events or places with known MPV transmission in the past 14 days.
The CDC recommends that the vaccine for PEP be given within four days of the date of exposure. If given for four to 14 days, it may reduce symptoms but may not prevent monkeypox.
How many vaccines does Michigan have?
Michigan has received more than 3,800 doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine.
The vaccine was distributed to centers that will redistribute the vaccines to other areas of the state as needed.
The centers are in the following areas (phone numbers and links to county health departments are also posted):
Health departments may contact qualified individuals who have been identified as close contacts. If you know or suspect you have been in contact with someone who has monkeypox, you should get in touch your local health department for more information.
Who can get monkeypox?
MPV is a disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus.
Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, often personal, skin-to-skin contact.
It belongs to the genus Orthopoxvirus, which also includes variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus. It is not related to chicken pox.
It is known to spread through the following methods:
Direct contact with MPV rash, scabs or body fluids from a person with MPV. This is believed to be the most common way MPV is currently spreading in the US
Through contact with someone with MPV during common activities such as sex, hugging, massage, kissing and prolonged face-to-face contact
Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding or towels) and surfaces that have been used by someone with MPV.
Contact with respiratory secretions.
If you feel sick or have a rash, stay away from the gatherings and see your doctor.
The CDC is urging health care providers to be on the lookout for monkeypox symptoms, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
Although many affected by the current outbreak are part of the LGBTQ+ community, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has MPV can get the disease.
Symptoms of monkey pox
Symptoms usually appear one to two weeks after infection. Sometimes people have a rash first, then other symptoms. Others have just a rash.
Symptoms of monkeypox include the following:
Muscle pain and back pain
Swollen lymph nodes
A rash that may look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, such as the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
Read: More monkeypox coverage
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