Please click here to listen to the latest Beaumont HouseCall podcast. In this episode, Dr. Nick Gilpin gives the latest updates on the Monkeypox outbreak.
Tips For Adequate Collection of a Lesion Specimen From a Suspect Monkeypox Virus Case, Sept. 7
Monkeypox Safety and Prevention (MDHHS) - Spanish and Arabic, Sept. 2
Suspect Monkeypox Infection Prevention Guidance, Aug. 19
Emerging Diseases Preparedness Plan - Monkeypox, Aug. 19
General photo release form, June 30
Further information can be found at:
Aug. 24 update
What is it?
Monkeypox (MPV) is caused the
monkeypox virus. It has historically been a disease confined to
parts of Africa, with occasional small outbreaks outside the area due to travel
or linked to specific animals. The 2022 outbreak is unique in both
it’s scope and it’s risk factors. As of this writing, more than
42,000 cases have been reported worldwide, including 143 in Michigan, the
majority of which have been in the metro Detroit area.
Who is at risk for illness?
In theory anyone can acquire
MPV. With the current outbreak, as of now it has primarily been
identified in men who have sex with men, though it’s likely to spread further
as time goes by. It traditionally causes self-limited illness,
though some patients may be at higher risk for severe disease, including
immunocompromised patients, pregnant/breastfeeding women, children
(particularly ≤ 8 years), and those with eczema or other exfoliative skin
How is it spread?
MPV can spread from
person-to-person through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or
body fluids. It also can be spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged,
face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing,
cuddling, or sex. It is not as contagious or spread as easily as
more common respiratory viruses, like influenza or
COVID-19. Touching items (e.g., clothing, linen, or towels) that
previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids is another way monkeypox
spreads. Monkeypox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has
fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. People who do not have
monkeypox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others.
What are the signs and symptoms of disease?
MPV symptoms usually start 1-2
weeks after exposure to the virus and can include fever, chills,
malaise, headache, muscle aches, lymphadenopathy, and rash. Lymph nodes
may swell in the neck (cervical & submandibular), armpits
(axillary), or groin (inguinal) and occur on both sides of the body or just one.
The rash often involves vesicles or pustules that are deep-seated, firm or
hard, and well-circumscribed; the lesions may umbilicate or become confluent
and progress over time to scabs. These lesions can appear on the face, inside
the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest,
genitals, or anus. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.
What precautions need to be taken if I have a patient with suspected monkeypox?
All interactions with patients
with suspected MPV should include use of personal protective equipment for
contact and enhanced respiratory precautions (e.g. isolation gown, gloves, eye
protection, and a fitted N-95 respirator). For details on how best
to manage depending on your site of care can be found above under
the link “Suspect Monkeypox Infection Prevention Guidance”
How can I test for the illness?
If performed in your
office/facility, specimens can be obtained using either one swab in viral
transport media (pink liquid material) or two swabs placed in a dry sterile
transport container. The order in Epic is listed as “Orthopox Virus
DNA, PCR (aka Monkey).” If a patient calls your office/facility
requesting testing, you can recommend they reach out to their local health
department, or direct them to one of our Emergency Departments (in the case of
the latter, contact the ED charge nurse to let them know when the patient will
be arriving, remind the patient to wear a mask and cover all lesions, and
provide the patient with the number of the ED for them to call upon their
arrival). Further information can be found above under
the link “Suspect Monkeypox Infection Prevention Guidance”
What treatments are available for monkeypox?
No agents have been FDA approved for treatment
of MPV. Tecovirimat is approved by the FDA for treatment of
smallpox, and has been shown to be effective in non-human primates with
MPV. It is currently only available directly from the CDC. For more information, please visit the CDC website.
If you have an outpatient
with suspected or confirmed monkeypox that you think warrants consideration for
tecovirimat, please contact Dr. Paul Chittick (available via Mobile Heartbeat,
pager 248-992-3450, or at 248-761-7029, and he can help arrange for receipt of
medication. Do not attempt to order it on your own at this time. Beaumont
is working on a process to try and help make this easier for providers, and to
allow for more providers to be able to prescribe it, and will get this
information to you as soon as the process is in place. Currently
it’s recommended to consider use of tecovirimat in patients with severe
disease, at high risk for severe disease (see above), or those with involvement
of body sites where MPV may pose a special hazard (e.g. eyes, mouth, genitals,
Is there a vaccine for monkeypox?
There is a vaccine available for
prevention of both MPV and smallpox – the modified vaccinia Ankara vaccine
(JYNNEOS). This vaccine is effective and safe, and can even be used
in those who are immunocompromised or have skin disorders (unlike older versions
of smallpox vaccines). Currently this vaccine is available in
limited supplies at the discretion of public health authorities, and being
deployed primarily for those with confirmed exposure to MPV patients
(post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP) or those with higher risk of potentially
being exposed to MPV (PEP++). Beaumont does not currently have any
vaccine supply and providers/patients are encouraged to contact their local
health departments with questions. We hope to be able to have this
vaccine to offer patients in the future.
A message from Dr. Nick Gilpin, medical director of Infection Prevention and Epidemiology, and Beth Wallace, MPH, CIC, FAPIC, system director of Infection Prevention and Epidemiology
July 8 update
As of this week, more than 7200 cases of monkeypox have been reported globally, including more than 600 confirmed cases in the U.S. Recently, the metro Detroit area saw its first patient with confirmed monkeypox. Since then, a second case has been confirmed in the area. Fortunately, this virus has not been a cause of significant morbidity or mortality in the current outbreak, and while it is certainly transmissible, it does not appear to be transmitted as readily as other infections, such as COVID-19.
Monkeypox is primarily transmitted from person-to-person through close physical contact. It can also be spread by respiratory secretions and droplets as well as from contact with contaminated surfaces (such as clothing and linens) that have come into contact with infectious material.
The signs and symptoms of monkeypox can include fever and chills, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes and a rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals or anus. If you suspect monkeypox in a patient you are providing care for:
- First, make sure the patient is wearing a mask and moved to a private room with enhanced respiratory and contact precautions (same as you would use for a patient with COVID-19).
- If entering the room of the patient, you should be wearing all appropriate PPE including: fit-tested N95 or greater respirator, eye protection, gown and gloves (same as you would wear if caring for a patient with COVID-19).
- Once the patient is safely in appropriate precautions, follow your department protocols for appropriate management and specimen collection, if applicable.
As with any potentially contagious infectious disease, appropriate patient placement and PPE is of high importance. However, if you provide any care for a patient with monkeypox, it is important to make sure you are also monitoring yourself for the signs and symptoms of monkeypox outlined above. If you develop any of these symptoms, do not report to work and contact Employee Health Services for further recommendations.
We will continue to keep you updated with the latest on this emerging infectious disease as the situation evolves. We thank you for your continued commitment to keeping ourselves, our staff and our patients safe._____________
June 2 update
Since early May, more than 350 suspected and confirmed cases of Monkeypox have been identified in 23 countries where the virus is not endemic. The first U.S. confirmed cases occurred on May 18 when a Massachusetts resident tested positive after returning to the U.S. from Canada. There are currently 14 other confirmed cases in the country
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has developed a guidance document for investigating potential cases
. Please also use the exposure questionnaire
as we navigate the situation.
Here are a few of the takeaways:
- If you identify a patient with a rash that could be consistent with monkeypox, especially those with a recent travel history to central or west African countries, parts of Europe where monkeypox has been reported, or other areas reporting monkeypox cases, monkeypox should be considered as a possible diagnosis.
- You should first consult with your local health department or the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Emerging & Zoonotic Infections Diseases Section at 517-335-8165 (after hours: 517-335-9030) or CDC through the CDC Emergency Operations Center (770-488-7100) as soon as monkeypox is suspected.
- To order monkeypox testing, you can order “Miscellaneous Procedure, Sendout” with Monkeypox PCR in the comments section.
- Collection and transport
- Notify the microbiology laboratory of any patient’s suspected of monkeypox infection so additional precautions can be taken to handle additional specimens for routine testing.