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Health officials cite need for awareness, prompt care as more monkeypox cases identified in state

News Release

July 1, 2022

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The Minnesota Department of Health at this time identified extra cases of monkeypox virus in Minnesota residents, for a complete of six cases.

All of the cases are identified in adults who stay in the Twin Cities space. All folks with cases to date have had a historical past of journey (together with home journey) or direct contact with somebody who traveled not too long ago, however well being officials count on that cases attributable to neighborhood unfold could possibly be identified quickly, as different areas outdoors of Minnesota have famous unfold inside their communities. None of the Minnesotans with cases are at present hospitalized and all are receiving medical care and recovering.

While Minnesota’s case numbers are at present low, state well being officials consider not all sufferers with monkeypox have sought testing or evaluation by a well being care supplier and they’re involved that the variety of infections might develop quickly except people who find themselves in danger for monkeypox take steps to guard themselves, acknowledge when they could be contaminated, and search medical care promptly if they’re.

“It’s clear that monkeypox has come to Minnesota,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield mentioned. “While our current cases are associated with travel outside Minnesota, we expect we will soon see cases among people that have no travel history or contact with someone who did, indicating that spread within social networks in Minnesota is occurring. We also think that many people with cases nationally are not seeking medical attention and that the number of people experiencing monkeypox is higher than the reported cases. We want to make sure that at-risk Minnesotans and their health care providers are informed about monkeypox – how it spreads, what the symptoms are and how to prevent its spread.”

The virus is unfold by shut contact, usually skin-to-skin contact with rash, scabs or physique fluids or contact with supplies which were contaminated with rash, scabs or physique fluids, such as clothes or bedding, or extended face-to-face contact. Monkeypox is much less infectious than different illnesses like COVID-19, measles, chickenpox and influenza; nevertheless, it may be simply unfold by contact with the pores and skin lesions.

People with monkeypox are sick for about two to 4 weeks and may unfold the virus till their rash is totally healed, which means till the scabs fall off and new pores and skin seems.

Monkeypox normally begins with signs like fever, headache, sore throat, swollen glands and fatigue, adopted by a rash, however not everybody with monkeypox has these signs. Some may have solely a rash. In some folks, sores will begin on the tongue or in the mouth.

The rash can appear like pimples or blisters and will unfold to a number of components of the physique or keep in one space (see CDC Monkeypox Signs and Symptoms). Monkeypox rash could appear like many different rashes, together with syphilis or herpes, significantly when current in the genital space. While monkeypox is just not transmitted sexually, some sufferers have had infections with syphilis or herpes and monkeypox on the similar time. Talk to a well being care supplier when you have a brand new rash or different regarding signs, particularly when you have been in contact with somebody who has had a rash. 

“Monkeypox can sometimes be mistaken for sexually transmitted diseases, like syphilis or herpes, so it’s important that health care providers consider multiple infections and try to learn as much as possible from their patients about their potential contacts within the last 14 days with someone who may have had monkeypox,” Lynfield mentioned. “Being able to identify cases and their contacts early is important for providing appropriate treatment for the person and prevention for high-risk contacts, including post-exposure vaccination. This can greatly help to reduce the spread of the virus.”

Anyone can get monkeypox if they’ve shut, sustained contact with somebody who’s contaminated with monkeypox. This can embody skin-to-skin contact and through sexual exercise. In the present world outbreak, we’re seeing a excessive proportion, though not all cases, which might be occurring amongst individuals who establish as homosexual and bisexual males. “It’s important for people who are at higher risk to be aware of the potential for exposure and to take steps to reduce their risk of infection,” Lynfield reiterated.

Most folks with monkeypox get higher on their very own, and the sickness normally lasts from two to 4 weeks. However, typically monkeypox may cause extreme sickness, together with pneumonia or sepsis and, relying on the place it’s positioned, there could also be issues, such as blindness if lesions are in the attention. If in the rectal space, there could be extreme ache and a few folks can have scars from the pores and skin sores.

For those that do have extreme sickness or are in danger for extreme sickness (for instance, folks with weakened immune programs), or individuals who sure pores and skin circumstances or different issues, antiviral drugs that have been developed for smallpox could also be used for therapy beneath a particular protocol by way of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More details about the virus and easy methods to restrict an infection danger could be discovered on the MDH Monkeypox web site and CDC Monkeypox web site.



Media inquiries:

Doug Schultz

MDH Communications


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