Dr. Michaels provides update on Monkeypox

June 7, 2022

Dr. Michaels provides update on Monkeypox

MOBILE, Alabama — Monkeypox is a very rare disease caused by infection with the Monkeypox virus. It is usually found in Central and West Africa and does not occur naturally in the United States.

However, at least nine cases have recently been identified in the U.S., with more cases expected. This situation is being closely monitored by public health. At this time, there are no cases of Monkeypox in Alabama.

“The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has created a website for Monkeypox information as it relates to Alabama,” said. Dr. Kevin P. Michaels, Health Officer for Mobile County. “The Monkeypox situation is very fluid.”

For additional information, Dr. Michaels would refer all providers to visit https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/monkeypox/index.html.

“If you have a clinical request, please select ‘Healthcare Providers’ on the left side of the screen, then select ‘Monkeypox Testing Consultation Form for Healthcare Providers’. You will be prompted to fill out the form, which will generate a call back by ADPH.”

Dr. Michaels said the Centers for Disease Control issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) guidance on May 25. This has updated epidemiologic information to assist providers in considering Monkeypox in their differential.

“The Mobile County Health Department will work with the provider, patient, and state health department to assist in the public health management of the patient,” Dr. Michaels said.
Monkeypox was so named because it was first discovered in 1958 in monkeys. It is most often found in small mammals such as rodents, including rats, mice, squirrels, rabbits, and prairie dogs.

The first outbreak of Monkeypox in the U.S. was reported in 2003 among people who became sick after coming in contact with infected pet prairie dogs. Historically, most cases of Monkeypox usually occurred after a person came into contact with an infected wild animal or animal product.

For information on the most recent cases of Monkeypox in the U.S., you may visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at bit.ly/3xbZA0f. A one-page flyer from ADPH can be downloaded at bit.ly/3m9Pp64.