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University of Michigan officials prepare for fall semester in Ann Arbor as monkeypox rises in state

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Ann Arbor – Health officials at the University of Michigan are gearing up to tackle the new virus as the fall semester and the return of students to campus nears.

Monkeypox cases continue to rise in Michigan, with more than 7,000 cases reported nationwide last week, prompting the federal government to declare a public health emergency to step up response efforts.

UM Chief Health Officer Robert D. Ernst said the risk to the general public in Washtenaw County remains low despite the rising number of cases.

read: University of Michigan expert: What you need to know about monkeypox

Monkeypox is not as contagious as COVID-19 and is spread primarily through direct contact with an infected person.

As schools prepare to welcome tens of thousands of students to campuses, Ernst said authorities are already making response efforts in case the virus becomes present on campuses.

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“Our team has worked very closely with local public health officials, including the Washtenaw County Health Department, to coordinate campus assessment and management strategies,” Ernst said in a statement. “In addition to raising awareness about MPV and providing access to testing, treatment and vaccination where needed, we are also working to raise awareness of how MPV differs from his COVID-19 and why containment strategies are different. It’s also important to understand.”

MPV is rarely fatal, but can be painful for those who develop the characteristic lesions of the disease. Symptoms tend to develop 1-2 weeks after exposure. It typically begins with flu-like symptoms, such as muscle aches, fever, headache, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes. Acne, sores, and blistering rashes then develop, often lasting 2 to 4 weeks.

read: Michigan Chief Physician on Monkeypox Outbreak

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Antivirals and monkeypox vaccines are in limited supply, but the Washtenaw County Health Department is the only place to distribute confirmed cases in the area.

According to U.M. releaseMPV precautions include:

  • People infected with MPV or who have a rash that looks like MPV should contact their healthcare provider as soon as possible.

  • People with a suspected rash should stay away from others, cover all lesions, and wear a mask until they see a healthcare provider.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Be especially careful before eating, before touching your face, and after using the restroom.

  • Avoid direct skin-to-skin contact with anyone who has MPV lesions or a rash that looks like MPV.

  • Talk to people you have had direct contact with, including intimate and sexual contact, about their general health and any other recent rashes or sores.

  • Avoid contact with objects, fabrics, or materials such as bedding, clothing, and towels that have been in contact with an infected person.

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