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.)