State health officials work to contain monkeypox amid public health emergency

One day after the Biden Administration declares monkeypox a public health emergency, officials at Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are speaking out on what that means form the state.

"This will allow us to mobilize resources - and mobilizing resources are really what we need at this moment on a state level," said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian.

State officials work to contain monkeypox transmission to prevent an outbreak in the state.

"We need resources including contact tracing, therapeutics and of course, the vaccine - which is in high demand right now," she said. "We currently in the state have just over 7,600 doses of the vaccine, which we are aiming to utilize in the most effective way possible."

As Monkeypox cases continue to rise the key to slowing the spread is testing.

"The strategy starts with broad-based testing so we have to make sure we are testing enough to detect all cases," she said.

The next step invokes getting the word out once infection is detected.

"Folks at local health departments involved in case investigation or contact tracing," said Bagdasarian.

The other part of this layered strategy involves vaccines and therapeutics.

"We now have a little more vaccine doses than we initially had," she added. "And that means we can now make the vaccine available to those who might be at risk."

This recent outbreak of monkeypox has shown that some members of the LGBTQ are most at risk, but doctors say no one is immune and that’s why testing for anyone with symptoms is crucial.

"We have to reduce stigma and make sure people are comfortable coming forward if they have signs and symptoms," said Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive.

For now state officials continue to monitor cases and vaccine distribution

"We have 71 cases so far and have administered over 800 doses of vaccine," she said. "As of today 19 of these cases have been in Detroit, 10 in Macomb County, 13 in Oakland County, nine in Wayne County

But the real goal is to get a vaccine distribution plan in place that goes beyond those who have been exposed or who are at high risk.

"We have to be ready for more cases and for more segments of population to be affected," she said.