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Ingham County health officials recommend monkeypox vaccines to avoid further spread

A digitally-colorized electron microscopic image depicts monkeypox virus particles.
Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery
/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A digitally-colorized electron microscopic image depicts monkeypox virus particles.

As monkeypox cases in Michigan continue to trend upwards, Ingham County public health experts are recommending certain people get vaccinated against the virus.

So far, the state has seen 186 positive cases of monkeypox with five probable cases in Ingham County, according to a Michigan Department of Health and Human Services online data dashboard. On Thursday, the Ingham County Health Department held a virtual Q&A discussion on the virus.

County medical director Dr. Nike Shoyinka says vaccines are available for those who have been exposed to the virus or have multiple sexual partners.

"If you feel that you are at risk for monkeypox get vaccinated. You know, we have a limited amount but it's available. You may have to get on a waitlist for a few days, but you will eventually get it," she said.

Shoyinka says vaccines are also available through your primary health care provider.

Monkeypox infections can spread through skin-to-skin contact or heavy exchange of bodily fluids with someone who is infected. Shoyinka says that also includes direct contact with clothes or bedding of an infected person.

"Infection also happens in a situation primarily where you have direct skin to skin contact with someone who has a rash, that monkeypox rash," she said.

The monkeypox rash is characterized by blisters that fill with puss and crust over within a couple of weeks. Shoyinka says once the rash scabs an infected person is no longer contagious.

If you believe you have been exposed to monkeypox, Shoyinka advises making an appointment with your health care provider or heading to an urgent care facility.

The county health department will be prioritizing vaccines to those exposed to the virus, those engaging in any type of sex work, those with multiple sexual partners, and those living with HIV.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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