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Monkeypox identified in Livingston County

The Livingston County Health Department (LCHD) has identified the first probable monkeypox (MPV) case in a local resident.

According to a press release, the probable case is currently isolating and does not pose a risk to the public. The individual recently traveled out of state before developing symptoms. LCHD case investigators are working to identify and monitor any close contacts for symptoms. No additional cases have been identified at this time. To protect patient privacy, no further case details will be provided.

Officials say despite the identification, the risk to the general public remains low. However, the LCHD encourages residents to be aware of the signs of MPV.

Symptoms and Transmission

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:

• Fever

• Headache

• Muscle aches and backache

• Swollen lymph nodes

• Chills

• Exhaustion

• Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)

• A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth,

and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals or anus.

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 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.

Testing and Treatment

Monkeypox testing is available locally. If you may have been exposed or if you have a new or unexplained rash, sores, or other symptoms, contact a healthcare provider for testing. Avoid close contact (including intimate physical contact) with others until a healthcare provider examines you and/or test results are received. If you develop a rash and cannot find testing locally, contact Livingston County Health Department at 517-546-9850 for assistance.

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. A limited number of vaccine is available to those at greatest risk of exposure and transmission. Most people don’t need a monkeypox vaccine right now.

The LCHD says they are working with local healthcare providers to provide information, coordinate surveillance efforts, and support testing and contact tracing.

For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/mpv or www.cdc.gov/monkeypox.

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