Monkeypox outbreak updates

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.

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.
    • The rash associated with monkeypox can be confused with other diseases that are more commonly encountered in clinical practice (e.g., secondary syphilis, herpes, chancroid and varicella zoster).
  • 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.
    • The questionnaire above will need to be filled out for testing.
  • Collection and transport
    • Collect two dry swab samples (do not place swab into transport media).
      • Vigorously swab or brush lesion with two separate sterile dry polyester or Dacron swabs.
        • Alternatively, the flocked swab in an Eswab kit can be used (do not place the swab back into the white top container).
        • Do not use swabs with cotton/calcium alginate tip or swabs with wooden shafts.
      • Dry swabs are then placed into a sterile cup or 50 mL conical tube (do not add media or saline).
  • 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.

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