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72 cases of monkeypox confirmed in Minnesota

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Minnesota health experts provide more info on monkeypox
Minnesota health experts provide more info on monkeypox 01:02

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Health officials in Minnesota say there have been 72 confirmed cases of monkeypox reported in the state.

Health officials say Minnesota's cases mirror national trends, in that the majority of cases reported are among men who have sex with men. 

The health department reports that recent data suggests that there is now ongoing community transmission in non-endemic countries, including the U.S., through direct contact with individuals infected with monkeypox.  

For more information about the virus, click here.

 

MDH now reporting 72 cases of monkeypox

The Minnesota Department of Health reported Monday that there are more confirmed cases of monkeypox in the state.

There have, so far, been 72 cases reported in Minnesota. As of last week, more than 10,000 Americans have now tested positive in the monkeypox outbreak across the U.S.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its monkeypox guidance to include dogs as animals that can catch the virus. The CDC tweaked its guidance after the first case of a pet dog suspected of contracting the virus from its owners was documented in France. 

Scientists said in a paper published in The Lancet medical journal last week that they'd found evidence of human-to-dog transmission of monkeypox. Before that, it was not clear whether the virus could be spread to dogs.

Monkeypox was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization on June 23. It is transmitted between humans through close contact with lesions or bodily fluids, and it's spreading in the U.S. and Europe among people who have not traveled to areas where it is known to be endemic.

By WCCO Staff
 

Dakota County reports 1st monkeypox case

Dakota County has reported its first case of monkeypox.

The county said the infected individual was one the first 28 cases in Minnesota.

"The good news is that the local individual has recovered, and Dakota County epidemiologists are working hard to ensure there is no spread," the county said.

By WCCO Staff
 

MDH: 2 more cases of monkeypox reported

The Minnesota Department of Health reported Friday that there are two more confirmed cases of monkeypox in the state.

There have, so far, been 46 cases reported in Minnesota. The U.S. so far has registered more than 7,100 cases, leading the world in infections.

The U.S. has declared a public health emergency after weeks of pressure to do more to stop the monkeypox outbreak. The U.S. leads the world in infections, and demand for the monkeypox vaccine is overwhelming the supply, with cases roughly doubling by the week in some states.

White House COVID response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha, who is assisting on the monkeypox virus response, told "CBS Mornings" that declaring a public health emergency will help speed up vaccinations, treatment and the acquisition of data to track the outbreak.

"Thankfully, no one has died, so we are still at a point in this outbreak where I do believe that, while it is very serious, it is not something that is reason for widespread alarm," Dr. Jha said.

Dr. Ashish Jha on what the Biden administration is doing about monkeypox 05:24
By WCCO Staff
 

Biden administration declares monkeypox a public health emergency

The Biden administration is declaring a public health emergency for the monkeypox outbreak in the United States, which now counts more infections from the virus than any other country in the world. 

Over the last decade, nationwide emergency declarations like this have previously been declared only for the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid crisis, and the Zika virus outbreak in 2017.

As it did for COVID-19, the move by Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to declare an emergency could unlock a broad swath of flexibilities in funding and regulations to respond to the spread of monkeypox.

 

MDH: Minnesota's monkeypox cases up to 44

Minnesota health experts provide more info on monkeypox 01:02

The Minnesota Department of Health says there have now been 44 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Minnesota. 

Meanwhile, a group of senators is urging the Biden Administration to invoke the Defense Production Act to step up production of the monkeypox vaccine. So far, more than 6,300 cases of the disease are confirmed in the U.S.

San Francisco leaders warned yesterday that they were about to run out of the shots.

On Thursday, CBS News medical correspondent Dr. David Agus joined CBS News' Lana Zak and Nikki Battiste to answer questions about the monkeypox outbreak and COVID-19.

Dr. David Agus answers monkeypox and COVID-19 questions 04:10
By WCCO Staff
 

Watch: Dr. Michael Osterholm updates on monkeypox cases

Dr. Osterholm talks priorities in monkeypox response 00:58

As the monkeypox virus quickly spreads in the U.S., President Biden has appointed a White House coordinator to oversee the response. Daily cases are doubling roughly every week, and have surpassed 6,300 total across 48 states.

Dr. Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, joined CBS Mornings to discuss on Wednesday.

"As much as many people don't want to accept it, it is primarily a sexually transmitted infection, just like herpes or syphilis," Osterholm said. "But not everyone gets it from sexually transmitted routes -- for example, if you do have contaminated bedding or towels, or even physical contact."

Osterholm said that, as of now, the outbreak is largely affecting predominately "highly sexually active gay men," but added that many gay men are at low risk for contracting the virus. This as many in the LGBTQ+ community point out the risk of ostracization from the overall messaging on monkeypox.

Osterholm said that a recent study found that nearly half of those who have tested positive for monkeypox have had multiple sex partners during the time that they likely became infected.

"We have to emphasize that. Why? Because we do have a major shortage of vaccines. Remember the whole world wants this right now. The United States is not even leading in terms of numbers. Spain has five times as many cases per population as we do. The United Kingdom twice as many," Osterholm said. "We've got to get (the vaccine) to those at highest risk."

Osterholm gave credit to the U.S. for working, over the last decade, to develop a vaccine for monkeypox, and recognizing the need for it, whereas "the rest of the world didn't participate in that."

He said that the main issue with distributing the vaccine is that we don't have the manufacturing capacity in place to get shots sent across the globe.

"Ninety countries right now have cases with this, all wanting the same vaccine that we want. And that is why as a country we have got to get together the gay community, medical leaders, public health leaders from the local area to decide, if I only have 2,000 doses of vaccine and I've got 8,000 people who need it, how are we going to get that out? Who gets prioritized? That's going to be with us for months to come, don't expect anything to the contrary," Osterholm said.

Many who have had monkeypox have said the pain is worse than you can imagine. Osterholm said that the upside is that there are very few recorded local cases that have resulted in death.

"The other good news is, unlike all the other infections we deal with that are transmitted sexually, this one, once you get over it in about three weeks, you actually have good immunity. You don't need to be treated, you're done, you've really got good protection" Osterholm said.

 

MDH reports 4 more cases of monkeypox

The Minnesota Department of Health on Tuesday reported four more confirmed cases of monkeypox in the state.

The health department reports that recent data suggests that there is now ongoing community transmission in non-endemic countries, including the U.S., through direct contact with individuals infected with monkeypox.

Also on Tuesday, President Biden named top officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to serve as the White House coordinators to combat the growing monkeypox outbreak.

The U.S. saw its first case of the monkeypox virus confirmed on May 18 and now has over 5,800 confirmed infections.

Scientists say that, unlike campaigns to stop COVID-19, mass vaccinations against monkeypox won't be necessary. They think targeted use of the available doses, along with other measures, could shut down the expanding epidemics that were recently designated by the World Health Organization as a global health emergency.

By WCCO Staff
 

MDH reports 34th case of monkeypox

The Minnesota Department of Health is reporting a 34th case of monkeypox in the state, one more than previously reported on Friday.

The health department reports that recent data suggests that there is now ongoing community transmission in non-endemic countries, including the U.S., through direct contact with individuals infected with monkeypox.

Moves by rich countries to buy large quantities of monkeypox vaccine, while declining to share doses with Africa, could leave millions of people unprotected against a more dangerous version of the disease and risk continued spillovers of the virus into humans, public health officials are warning.

Critics fear a repeat of the catastrophic inequity problems seen during the coronavirus pandemic.

"The mistakes we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic are already being repeated," said Dr. Boghuma Kabisen Titanji, an assistant professor of medicine at Emory University.

 

33 cases of monkeypox confirmed in Minnesota, vaccine supply limited

Health officials in Minnesota say there have been 33 confirmed cases of monkeypox reported in the state.

In an update on Friday afternoon, health officials said Minnesota's cases mirror national trends, in that the majority of cases reported are among men who have sex with men. 

Most of the state's cases have been in the Twin Cities, but there's also a case reported in Greater Minnesota, State Epidemiologist Ruth Lynfield said. All of the state's reported, confirmed cases are in adult men between the ages of 18 and 55, with a median age of 37.

Lynfield said during a media briefing that the health department is connecting with community partners to spread information about the virus, especially to those in the LGBTQ+ community. But, she stressed that the virus can impact "everyone who has close physical contact" and it's important as a community to be "focused on health, and not stigma." 

As of Friday, the state has a very limited supply of vaccines, Lynfield said. The vaccines are limited nationally, and it is not recommended for most people at this time. 

However, Lynfield says Minnesota is providing vaccines for high-risk contacts of people with confirmed monkeypox.

The state also has limited testing capabilities. Though people with legions and rashes are encouraged to get a test, Lynfield said people who do not have symptoms should not get tested. 

It was just over a month ago when Minnesota confirmed the first case of monkeypox in our state. To prevent getting monkeypox, Lynfield said to avoid close skin-to-skin contact with people who may have monkeypox.

For more information about the virus, click here.

By WCCO Staff
 

U.S. monkeypox cases near 5,000

There are at least 4,907 cases nationwide, according to Thursday numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Despite the problems with vaccine supply, federal officials said Thursday that the country's monkeypox outbreak can still be stopped, amid worries that the U.S. has missed the window to contain the virus.

The monkeypox virus spreads through prolonged skin-to-skin contact, which includes sex, kissing, breathing at close range, and sharing bedding and clothing, the public health department said. Health officials are asking people who could be at risk to cover exposed skin when out in crowds and to watch out for symptoms, such as fever, blisters and rashes.

The World Health Organization over the weekend declared the monkeypox outbreak in more than 70 countries a global emergency.

 

What is monkeypox and what are the symptoms?

Monkeypox is in the same family of viruses that includes variola virus, which causes smallpox; vaccinia virus, used in the smallpox vaccine; and cowpox virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It was discovered in a colony of monkeys in 1958 and its first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but has been reported in humans in other countries.

Cases that occur outside of Africa are linked to international travel or imported animals. There have been cases in Israel, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the U.S. In July 2021, the World Health Organization said it was notified of an imported case of human monkeypox in Dallas, Texas. The patient had traveled from Nigeria. 

The natural reservoir of monkeypox remains unknown, but African rodents and non-human primates, like monkeys, may harbor the virus and infect people, according to the CDC.

The symptoms of monkeypox in humans can be similar to the symptoms of smallpox, but the main difference is that monkeypox causes lymph nodes to swell, the CDC says.

The incubation period, or time from infection to showing symptoms, for monkeypox is usually seven to 14 days. It starts with fever, headache, muscle aches and exhaustion and usually within one to three days, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body.

The lesions progress, become filled with a fluid, then scab and fall off. Monkeypox usually lasts for two to four weeks. In Africa, the disease causes death in as many as 1 in 10 people.

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