Health officials: 87 monkeypox cases so far in Minnesota

Published 9:47 pm Thursday, August 18, 2022

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MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota health officials on Thursday reported 87 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the state, as they offered an update on a viral infection that has aroused concern around the globe.

The state has had fewer cases so far than Michigan (108) but more than Wisconsin’s 43 and Iowa’s 15, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most of Minnesota’s cases have come in the metropolitan area, and most are in men, the Minnesota Health Department said. Three led to hospitalizations.

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Most monkeypox cases in Minnesota and the U.S. have been among men who report having sex with other men, but anyone can get monkeypox regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, Assistant Commissioner Dan Huff said.

The infection typically spreads through close skin-to-skin contact or prolonged face-to-face contact, said Dr. Ruth Lynfield, Minnesota’s state epidemiologist. Sexual contact is not required for monkeypox to spread.

Minnesota hasn’t yet reported any cases of monkeypox among children. Oregon identified its first pediatric monkeypox case on Wednesday.

With over 13,500 cases, the U.S. has reported more monkeypox infections than any other country. The viral infection is rarely fatal, according to the CDC, but can result in painful rashes and lesions around the mouth and genital areas.