33 cases of monkeypox confirmed in Minnesota, vaccine supply limited

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Health officials in Minnesota say there have been 33 confirmed cases of monkeypox reported in the state.

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In an update on Friday afternoon, health officials said Minnesota’s cases mirror national trends, in that the majority of cases reported are among men who have sex with men.

Most of the state’s cases have been in the Twin Cities, but there’s also a case reported in Greater Minnesota, State Epidemiologist Ruth Lynfield said. All of the state’s reported, confirmed cases are in adult men between the ages of 18 and 55, with a median age of 37.

Lynfield said during a media briefing that the health department is connecting with community partners to spread information about the virus, especially to those in the LGBTQ+ community. But, she Stressed that the virus can impact “everyone who has close physical contact” and it’s important as a community to be “focused on health, and not stigma.”

As of Friday, the state has a very limited supply of vaccines, Lynfield said. The Vaccines are limited nationally, and it is not recommended for most people at this time.

However, Lynfield says Minnesota is providing vaccines for high-risk contacts of people with confirmed monkeypox.

The state also has limited testing capabilities. Although people with legions and rashes are encouraged to get a test, Lynfield said people who do not have symptoms should not get tested.

It was just over a month ago when Minnesota confirmed the first case of monkeypox in our state. To prevent getting monkeypox, Lynfield said to avoid close skin-to-skin contact with people who may have monkeypox.

For more information about the virus, click here.

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