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Ingham County Announces First Probable Case of Monkeypox Virus

LANSING, MI. – The Ingham County Health Department (ICHD) has been notified by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that the first probable case of Monkeypox was identified in Ingham County.

The individual is isolating and does not pose a risk to the community. ICHD case investigators are working to identify and monitor any close contacts for symptoms. No additional cases have been identified at this time. To ensure patient privacy, no further details will be provided.

“The risk to the general public is low however, anyone who has been in prolonged, face-to-face contact with someone who has monkeypox can get the illness, regardless of gender or sexual orientation,” said Linda Vail, Health Officer for Ingham County Health Department. “However, if you are concerned about monkeypox, speak with your health care provider to be evaluated for testing.”

Monkeypox spreads from person-to-person through direct contact with infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids. It also can be spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex. Touching items such as clothing or towels that has previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids is another way monkeypox can be spread.

Monkeypox symptoms may begin with flu-like symptoms, such as headache, fever, muscle aches, and exhaustion, along with swelling of the lymph nodes, followed by a rash and lesions one to three days after the onset of illness. Monkeypox is contagious when a rash is present and up until scabs have fallen off. Symptoms generally appear up to three weeks after exposure, and the rash often lasts two to four weeks.

There are no treatments or vaccines specifically for monkeypox. 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.

If you have been identified as an immediate contact to a monkeypox case, as someone who may have been exposed to a monkeypox case or have certain risk factors making it more likely to have been recently exposed to monkeypox, you may be eligible to receive the vaccine. If you believe you are eligible to receive the vaccine, please contact the Ingham County Health Department Communicable Disease Control Division for further evaluation.

Individuals experiencing monkeypox symptoms should contact their health care provider for evaluation. It is important to note that anyone can contract and spread monkeypox, but early data from this outbreak suggest that men who have sex with men make up a high number of initial cases. 

As this outbreak evolves and we learn more, information may change. For additional information visit CDC.gov/Monkeypox  or Michigan.gov/MVP