A case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Bay County. The Bay County Health Department said one person has tested positive for the virus, bringing the total cases in Michigan to 77. The city of Detroit and Oakland County have the highest numbers of cases. The Bay County case is the first recorded in the Great Lakes Bay Region. The health department said the person is not in Bay County right now, and there don’t appear to be any close contacts locally.
Monkeypox is contagious when a rash is present and up until scabs have fallen off. Symptoms generally appear one to two weeks after exposure and infection, and the rash often lasts two to four weeks. The Bay County Health Department advises that if you have symptoms, you should contact your health care provider. 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 monkeypox can get the illness.
The Bay County Health Department said there are no treatments specifically for monkeypox, but since it’s similar to smallpox, antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox can be used to prevent and treat monkeypox. 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 a limited supply of the vaccine.
Great Lakes Bay Pride has formed a regional task force to share educational resources and updates about the monkeypox outbreak and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ vaccination strategy currently being deployed in the state. The Regional Monkeypox Task Force partners include Great Lakes Bay Pride, Bay County Health Department, Midland County Department of Public Health, Saginaw County Health Department, Central Michigan District Health Department, and Michigan Health Improvement Alliance.
“Monkeypox is disproportionately impacting our LGBTQ+ community, specifically those who identify as men who have sex with men. Our goal is to get information and resources in the hands of our community members at highest risk for this illness and do whatever we can to
prevent it,” said Scott Ellis, Executive Director of Great Lakes Bay Pride.
More information can be found on the Bay County Health Department website: https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/keep-mi-healthy/communicablediseases/diseasesandimmunization/mpv#USReports