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Number of confirmed monkeypox cases in Michigan triple over the past two weeks

Doctor with stethoscope photo
Alex Proimos via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0

Health officials warning public, virus is ‘not’ a sexually transmitted disease.

Health officials say the number of confirmed cases of monkeypox have tripled in Michigan over the past two weeks, as President Joe Biden Thursday afternoon declared monkeypox a national public health emergency.

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services new website, which tracks monkeypox infections across the state, as of Thursday, August 4th, there were 66 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Michigan—more than three times the number of confirmed cases just two weeks ago, when the Department launched the tracking website on July 20th.

In West Michigan, there have been 7 cases in Kent County, and the Ottawa County Department of Public Health earlier this week confirmed 2 cases there as well.

Health officials meanwhile, are urging caution and speaking out against the stigma surrounding monkeypox.

Alison Clark is the Ottawa County Department of Public Health’s Communications Specialist. She says, the virus is not a sexually transmitted disease, and women and children are also at risk of becoming infected.

“It is not a disease of gay or bi-sexual men, or men who have sex with men,” Clark said. “That group happens to be the most affected right now, but anyone can catch it if they come in contact with someone with the monkeypox virus.”

Still, Clark says she doesn’t want the public to panic, the odds are still small of catching monkeypox-- a virus that causes a rash to break out on the face and body as well as a fever, headache and exhaustion as some of the more severe symptoms.

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