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Mpox recently reported in Genesee County

The Genesee County Health Department (GCHD) is calling on at-risk unvaccinated community members or those who have just received one dose to get the safe and effective mpox vaccine.

GCHD recently reported two new cases of mpox within Genesee County. Mpox, previously called monkeypox or MPV, is a virus that spreads primarily through close physical or sexual contact. Symptoms include a rash, which may have just a few lesions (spots) or may be on many sites on the body, most often near the mouth or genital areas. Other symptoms which can occur before or after the rash, or may not be present at all, include rectal symptoms (diarrhea, pain or bleeding), fever, muscle pain, sore throat, congestion or headache.

Public health officials are calling on at-risk individuals to get the safe and effective 2-dose mpox vaccine. This vaccine is recommended for those who have been exposed or suspects exposure to mpox. It is also recommended for people who have risk factors that make them more likely to be exposed. Risk factors include people who have anonymous or multiple sex partners. Also, gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender, nonbinary and people who have had a new diagnosis of a sexually transmitted infection (chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis).

Currently the CDC does not recommend routine immunization against mpox for the general public. Contact GCHD or your healthcare provider to discuss your eligibility. There is no cost to receive the vaccine at GCHD.

“We are working diligently with the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS), area hospital systems and local leaders to respond to the recent uptick in mpox cases and control the spread of this virus,” said Michelle Estell, interim health officer at GCHD.

Estell added: “Vaccination is an important tool in stopping the spread of mpox. The safe and effective two-dose vaccine is available for free at GCHD.”

Mpox first emerged in the U.S. in May 2022, and many countries around the world experienced their own unprecedented outbreaks. Thanks to the rapid response of local public health officials, advocates and the MSM community, towns and cities across the U.S. were able to quickly curb the outbreak.

“As cases of mpox increase, it is important for individuals to prioritize prevention measures to protect themselves and their communities,” said Stevi Atkins, Wellness AIDS Services CEO.

Atkins added: “Preventing mpox through vaccination, safe sex practices and staying informed about the virus is essential in halting its spread and safeguarding public health. Join us in spreading awareness and taking the necessary precautions to prevent further mpox infections.”

The GCHD-Burton Branch at G-3373 S. Saginaw Street, Burton, MI 48529, is offering free mpox vaccinations with an appointment. The vaccine is most effective two weeks after the full, two-dose regimen is complete. If exposed to mpox, get the vaccine as soon as possible, ideally within four days of exposure, but even 4 to 14 days after exposure may still provide some protection against mpox.

For more information about mpox and the vaccine, please visit the MDHHS’s website by clicking here: https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/keep-mi-healthy/communicablediseases/diseasesandimmunization/mpv/for-the-public

To schedule your vaccine appointment at GCHD, please call (810) 237-4540 or visit www.geneseecountymi.gov.

To schedule an mpox testing appointment at GCHD, please call
(810) 237-4538.

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