Oakland County creates monkeypox task force as number of cases increase

Nurse on call can answer questions about monkeypox

A monkeypox task force has been launched in Oakland County to respond to the outbreak and educate the public.

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. – A monkeypox task force has been launched in Oakland County to respond to the outbreak and educate the public.

As of Thursday, there are five confirmed or probable monkeypox cases in Oakland County. Health officer Calandra Green is leading the task force.

The task force will help develop a communication and education plan about monkeypox and strategize ways to reach out to the community. They will also create a plan to distribute vaccines when they are more readily available.

“Oakland County has the largest number of cases of monkeypox in the state of Michigan and the population of individuals most at-risk of getting it exceeds our capacity to vaccinate them at the moment,” Coulter said. “That’s why I’m forming a task force to prepare for what may be to come.”

The task force will also include, Dr. Paul Benson, medical director at Be Well Medical Center in Berkley, Oakland County Medical Director Dr. Russell Faust, Affirmations Executive Director Dave Garcia, a representative from Corktown Health in Hazel Park, and a representative from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Additional task force members may be named soon.

“We know that the number of cases will increase. I’m urgently calling on the federal government and the Centers for Disease Control to expedite the development and production of the drugs that will help prevent and treat this emerging virus,” Coulter said.

Oakland County Health Division has been responding to the outbreak through contact tracing and monitoring. So far, all monkeypox cases in the county have been among adult males.

“We are committed to diligently working to contain the spread of monkeypox in Oakland County,” Green said. “The community can help by knowing their risks and seeking testing if they experience any symptoms of monkeypox.”

Learn more: Where is monkeypox in Michigan? Here’s a map of cases and everything you should know about symptoms

Individuals with questions about monkeypox may contact the Oakland County Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533 or email noc@oakgov.com.

About the Author:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.