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As of Tuesday, 55 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in the state of Michigan. Information about these cases are being made public by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. For those who are unaware, according to the CDC, monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. In comparison with smallpox, monkeypox symptoms are similar, however they are milder, and monkeypox rarely leads to death. In fact, there is a high chance of survival for people who contract the monkeypox type that is spreading. The disease was first discovered in 1958. During that time, two outbreaks of the disease occurred in research colonies of monkeys. It is still unclear where the disease actually came from, but the first human case was recorded in 1970.

It is recommended that you visit your healthcare provider if you think you have monkeypox or have had close personal contact with someone who has monkeypox. The FDA recommends taking swabs directly from a lesion (rash or growth) if you’re testing for monkeypox. Non-testing of a lesion may lead to false results. The FDA also says that they are uncertain whether or not  samples from blood or saliva can be used for monkeypox testing. Monkeypox cannot be treated specifically. Infections can be treated with antiviral drugs used for smallpox, according to the CDC

Symptoms for monkeypox include the following:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Rashes that appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus, and can mimic pimples or blisters.
  • The rash generally goes through multiple stages before completely healing. In most cases, the illness lasts between two and four weeks.

Contact your local health department if you or someone you know has been exposed to monkeypox. There are two vaccines licensed by the FDA to help prevent monkeypox infection. JYNNEOS (also known as Imvamune or Imvanex) and ACAM2000. According to the CDC, there are no data on the effectiveness of these vaccines in the current outbreak.