The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is watching the spread of the monkey closely, but the state’s chief medical officer says the rare disease does not pose an open risk to COVID-19 for communities across the nation.
“This isn’t something I would want to terrify the general public with, to put everyone on high alert or to make everyone think about the monkey flu,” Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Michigan’s chief medical officer, said Wednesday, June 8th.
As of Wednesday, no cases of monkey pox have been reported or reported in Michigan, including several countries that have not recently found monkey pox, including viral disease.
There have been a total of 35 cases in 15 states since mid-May. Most have been registered in New York, up from eight, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
You might find it here, Bagdasarian said.
“I think we’re doing our job,” he said. “We are working very closely with local health departments, our clinical partners, on what to look for, what to try and to make this process as easy as possible.”
Moreover, unlike the novel and unknown COVID, which came out in 2019, monkeypox is not new; It has been infecting people for about 50 years. Doctors and scientists have had the opportunity to investigate and study its transmission, Bagdasarian said.
Through tight contact, it spreads over the skin to lesions, body fluids, or virus-contaminated materials. It can be transmitted through respiratory droplets, but is not considered to be airborne, which is spread over long distances. This is not a disease that people get when they visit a grocery store or interact with a regular acquaintance, Bagdasarian said. “It’s usually a closer relationship than this.”
Universal mass or masking is not recommended.
The symptoms are similar to smallpox, which disappeared in 1952 in North America. It starts with fever, headaches and muscle aches and fatigue. Within a day or three, patients develop a rash, often starting in the face, according to the CDC.
The CDC reports that the injuries progress through several stages and then fall off.
Anyone who has been infected with chickenpox who is currently vaccinated would understand the unpleasant process, Bagdasarian said. “And we certainly want to limit transmission in this country.”
It’s unclear how people have been exposed to the monkey flu, but initial data suggest that they make up a large number of cases with gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. “However, anyone who has been in close contact with someone with a monkey is at risk,” the CDC says.
Among those at risk are also Americans who have traveled to sites where monkey pox are reported or found, Bagdasarian said, and people who have died or been in contact with a wild or exotic African animal, according to the CDC.
Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 in monkey colonies. The first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to the CDC. It has been reported in many other African countries since then.
Antivirals developed for use in patients with smallpox may be beneficial, the CDC reported. There are also vaccines in the United States that prevent smallpox, and smallpox vaccines can protect people from the monkey. The CDC recommends that you be vaccinated within four days of exposure to prevent the disease from spreading.
Vaccines and therapeutics are available through the federal government and would be mobilized in Michigan if needed, Bagdasarian said.
With Chelsea, the head of public information at the State Department of Health, said in an email that other contagious diseases could also be spread through close contact, especially in crowded places. People should usually avoid large gatherings when they feel feverish, chills, or sick.
Although there is no general and open risk, “we still urge people to look for new and unexplained skin rashes with fever and chills, especially if the citizens have risk factors,” Bagdasarian said.
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