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MDHHS launches new website to educate Michigan residents about monkeypox, how to get help if you have symptoms, the state’s response

LANSING, MICH. – To help keep Michiganders up to date on monkeypox (MPV) and the state’s response to the virus, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has launched a new website at Michigan.gov/mpv.

The site provides information about the signs and symptoms of MPV, number of cases in the state by county; information for health care providers about testing and coordinating with local health departments; treatment; and other resources for the public and providers. State case count information will be updated regularly.

“MDHHS is working closely with our federal partners, local health departments and health care providers across the state in response to this outbreak,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. “MPV is a viral illness that spreads primarily through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, bodily fluids or prolonged face-to-face contact. It is important to remember that the risk to the general public is low. However, Michiganders with concerns about MPV should see their provider to be evaluated for testing.”

MPV is a disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. MPV belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus, which also includes variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine) and cowpox virus. While both diseases may have similar presentation, MPV is not related to chickenpox.

Persons experiencing MPV symptoms should contact a health care provider for evaluation. CDC is urging health care providers in the United States to be alert for patients who have rash illnesses consistent with MPV, regardless of whether they have travel or specific risk factors for MPV and regardless of gender or sexual orientation. While many of those affected in the current global outbreaks are men who have sex with men, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has MPV can get the illness.

There are no treatments specifically for MPV infections. However, MPV and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means that antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox can be used to prevent and treat MPV infections.

States are receiving vaccine allocations from the Strategic National Stockpile in accordance with the number of MPV cases and the size of the underlying at-risk population. Michigan has received a limited supply of the vaccine, JYNNEOS. Additional limited allocations will follow in the next few months, but specific quantities and timelines are not yet known. The federal government continues to purchase vaccine, but JYNNEOS is not likely to become broadly available in the near-term.

A local health department may initiate contact with eligible individuals who have been identified as a close contact to an MPV case about receiving the vaccine. If you know you have had a contact with someone with MPV please contact your local health department for more information. Information about federal vaccine allocations is available online and will be updated every Wednesday.

Treatments for MPV have not been pre-deployed to states by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and will continue to be available through the Strategic National Stockpile. Clinicians evaluating MPV patients should be aware of the clinical considerations and process of requesting TPOXX (Tecovirimat) for their patients.

For more information, visit Michigan.gov/MPV or CDC.gov/monkeypox.

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