Monkeypox causes growing concern, Mid-Michigan gets proactive

“How do we do this and how do we do it well?”
Monkeypox causes growing concern, Mid-Michigan gets proactive
Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 5:51 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - As of Friday, Monkeypox isn’t even confirmed in Mid-Michigan but experts are worried the virus may be here to stay. In fact, doctors claim it could become entrenched in society as the new sexually transmitted disease.

Read: Michigan launches monkeypox tracking website

As of Friday, Michigan has 21 cases and Mid-Michigan still has zero. The Lansing Area AIDS Network and Sparrow Health Network said they still want to be proactive.

“Worried about how do we represent monkeypox to individuals so that they respond and they’re able to keep themselves as safe as possible. So, I think that’s some of the concern. It’s like ‘how do we do this and how do we do it well,’” said Executive Director of the Lansing Area AIDS Network, Kristina Schmidgall.

While the number of monkeypox cases in Mid-Michigan is zero, medical experts believe that number may be under-reported.

“Just because we don’t have any reported cases in mid-Michigan, yet -- it’s not a reason to feel we don’t need to take precautions,” said Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Sparrow Health Network, Michael Zaroukian.

“And we’re working closely with Ingham County Health Department. Had a meeting with them last week to talk about how are we going to be ready for when monkeypox comes to the Capitol City,” said Schmidgall.

The Lansing Area AIDS Network said one of the main concerns is not knowing much about the viral infection.

“And there’s been a lot of criticism about how things have been handled and vaccine rollouts. And I think, we in Lansing, say ‘OK, we want to do this better, we want to learn from COVID-19,′ But we also want to learn about other places that have monkeypox and how can we do that well,” said Schmidgall.

Monkeypox is spread mainly through skin-to-skin contact. It can also spread through bedsheets and other linens used by an infected person.

Monkeypox causes flu-like symptoms, lesions, and bumps on the skin. So far, there have been no deaths in the current outbreak.

The federal government is racing to get 100,000 vaccine doses distributed around the country. They’re also working to increase testing for the disease.

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