The MN Department of Health confirmed two new cases of MPox in the state so far this year. The 2022 Mpox outbreak resulted in 234 confirmed cases from June – November 2022. The MN Department of Health estimates that 30% of those eligible for JYNNEOS, the vaccine used for MPox, have received the vaccine. In order to prevent community infections that number must be around 60%. This low vaccinate rate, combined with warmer weather, more traveling, and an outbreak in Chicago leaves Minnesotans at risk.
During the last 6 weeks, Chicago has over 20 new confirmed cases of MPox in the city. This occurred just before the International Mister Leather – an event that attracts people from all over the country and is well attended by Minnesotans. There is a concern that cases of MPox could be spread at this event which could result in newly confirmed cases across the country. On May 15, 2023 the CDC distributed a notice via the Health Alert Network (HAN) saying “the outbreak is not over.“
A break-through case occurs when someone who is vaccinated still becomes infected. The majority of the new cases in Chicago have already been vaccinated. Because of this, people are experiencing milder symptoms. Last year we saw people suffer with proctitis, inability to use the bathroom without pain, and a number of flu-like symptoms. Now, we are seeing less of these symptoms appearing among people who are positive, and more often people are only experiencing sores. This provides us with two lessons going forward:
- It is still important to be fully vaccinated. The vaccine is safe, effective, and FREE in Minnesota. Being vaccinated slows the spread of Mpox and lessens severity of the infection. Click here to find where to get vaccinated.
- Get tested if you have new sores that are out of the ordinary. You may not experience flu-like symptoms or pain like people who have previously been infected. Milder cases are becoming more commonplace.