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Friday, September 9, 2022

Important resources for understanding and treating monkeypox

Dr Benson

As monkeypox cases continue to increase throughout the United States, physicians and practice staff should be familiar with symptoms and treatments. As of Sept. 6, 2022, there are over 19,000 cases in the U.S. with one death. Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) reported 193 cases in Michigan, with most in Oakland County. 

Monkeypox virus (MPV) is a disease that causes fever, aching, headache, swollen glands, and a rash that look like pimples or blisters, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Anyone can get MPV regardless of age, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Federal officials declared a public health emergency on Aug. 4. According to the CDC, “infections with the type of monkeypox virus identified in this outbreak — the West African type — are rarely fatal. Over 99% of people who get this form of the disease are likely to survive.”

Monkeypox is contagious from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed this can take several weeks. While monkeypox is transmitted with skin-to-skin contact, "It cannot be spread by casual contact, it's got to be touch with lesions that are present,” according to Dr. Paul Benson, a family physician at Be Well Medical Center in Berkley and one of TPA’s board members. He sits on Oakland County’s Monkeypox Task Force and has been actively involved in creating plans for addressing monkeypox in the county. His practice has treated the most cases in Michigan and is approved to prescribe TPOXX (Tecovirimat) for the treatment of monkeypox.

Monkeypox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar. Antiviral drugs and  vaccines developed to protect against smallpox can be used to prevent and treat MPV infections. 


CDC frequently asked questions about monkeypox

CDC monkeypox treatment information

MDHHS monkeypox information website

Monkeypox resources for health professionals (MDHHS)

Let’s talk about monkeypox patient handout (English, Arabic, Spanish)

Monkeypox safety and prevention patient handout (English, Arabic, Spanish)

CDC printable resources (What do if you think you have monkeypox, information for teens and young adults, monkeypox and safer sex, etc.)

Class is in session: A guide to back-to-school vaccinations

As summer comes to a close, children and their families across the U.S. are returning or preparing to return to school. Vaccines are a critical preventative measure for keeping students and teachers healthy and protected against harmful illnesses. Earlier this year, World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF data showed the largest decline in childhood vaccinations globally in 30 years.

While each state is responsible for determining which vaccines are required in order for a child to attend school, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers helpful guidelines on the recommended immunizations for children 18 years and younger. Today, all 50 states have legislation requiring vaccines.

Why have pediatric immunization rates declined?

Prior to the pandemic, providers typically had the opportunity to ensure their pediatric patients received necessary vaccinations over the summer. However, due to a variety of COVID-related disruptions including a shift to virtual learning, increased vaccine hesitancy, and decreased access to non-emergency care, there has been a 70% decline in outpatient pediatric care visits that could have been opportunities to administer critical vaccines. Many providers are working to break down these barriers by implementing innovative strategies and partnerships aimed at helping children get up-to-date on their vaccines.

Opportunities to complete school vaccine requirements

Staying on track with recommended immunizations is key to supporting children’s short- and long-term health. The CDC recommends a series of 18 vaccines for children ages 18 and younger. While minimum vaccination requirements are unique to each state, these vaccines are mandated in all 50 states and D.C. in order to attend public school:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTaP)
  • Polio
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
  • Varicella

As pediatric patients return to the classroom this month, providers can use their upcoming appointments as timely opportunities to revisit their immunization history and remind families of the importance of staying up to date with recommended vaccines.

Source: Atlantic Health Partners, TPA's Affiliate Partner, provides best pricing on vaccines from top manufacturers. TPA members also are eligible to receive a strong annual rebate on all vaccine purchases through Atlantic Health Partners. Learn more

Merck increases vaccine prices


Merck recently announced national price increases for their vaccines. Most Merck vaccines will increase by 3% - 6%, with no change for Vaxneuvance and Pneumovax.

The Physician Alliance members can save on vaccine purchasing through Atlantic Health Partners, an Affiliate Partner of TPA. In addition to vaccine savings, TPA members are also eligible to receive a strong annual rebate on all vaccine purchases made through Atlantic Health Partners.

Merck pricing will not change until November 10 for Atlantic Health Partners' customers

For more information on Atlantic Health Partners' vaccine purchasing program, click here

The latest healthcare news

Public Health Leaders Plead with Michigan Parents to ‘Catch Up’ on Vaccines Before Heading Back to School, iVaccinate

Hospitals Cut Jobs and Services as Rising Costs Strain Budgets, Kaiser Health News

Americans may need yearly shots to protect against Covid-19 CNN

Medicaid extensions for new moms grow, Click on Detroit

Too Often, Diabetes & Hearing Loss Go Together, US News

Catholic health care's wide reach can make it hard to get birth control in many places, NPR

Monkeypox cases should increase awareness - but not panic - say doctors, FOX2

Ways you can save

Featured Affiliate Partner: MEDICAL ANSWERING SERVICES: Ambs Call Center provides HIPAA-compliant answering services, free web on-call app, online access to messages and secure text messaging. TPA members receive the first month free and additional discounts on plans and usage. 

Learn more about this partner.

Visit TPA's Website