monkeypox

MUSKEGON — Public Health Muskegon County has been notified by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that a probable case of the monkeypox virus has been identified in a Muskegon County resident.

More than 70 confirmed and probable cases have been identified statewide; however, this is the first probable case identified in Muskegon County.

Public Health investigators say they will notify close contacts, if necessary. To protect patient privacy, no further case details would be provided.

“The risk to the general public is low,” Muskegon County Health Officer Kathy Moore said. “However, residents concerned about monkeypox should talk to their health care provider to be evaluated for testing.”

Monkeypox is a viral illness that spreads primarily through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, bodily fluids or prolonged face-to-face contact. 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: fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion. A rash may appear that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth and on other parts of the body.

Monkeypox is contagious from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. Symptoms generally appear within three weeks after exposure and infection, and the rash often lasts 2-4 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 specifically for monkeypox infections. However, monkeypox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means that antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox may be used to prevent and treat monkeypox infections.

For more information about monkeypox in Michigan, visit www.mi.gov/monkeypox.

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