by Derek Johnson-Dean, MPLS MPX Taskforce Executive Director.
Approaching 100 Cases
On Friday, August 19, 2022, the number of cases of MPX in the state was 92. When the MN Department of Health (MDH) updates the numbers later today we should expect to have over 100 documented cases of MPX in the state. The majority of these cases come from the Red Door Clinic in Minneapolis, Hennepin County.
Red Door Clinic :
On June 27th the Red Door diagnosed the first case of MPX in the state. At that time the average number of cases per week rose by 5. Last week from August 18 to 19 the number of cases increases by 5 in one day from 87 to 92.
We owe a huge thanks to my former employer, Red Door Clinical Services at the Hennepin County Public Health Clinic, they’ve streamlined the process for scheduling MPX vaccination and treatment. The best advice for getting through is still to stay on hold, do not leave a message. I am proud of my former coworkers who are working diligently to meet the needs of the community without complaining about longer hours. When I worked at the Red Door on a busy day we could expect 100 appointments per day. Currently, Red Door is seeing 150 people a day for vaccinations. That doesn’t include patients seeking treatment for MPX treatment or other medical purposes. When asked what message should the taskforce send to the community about the Red Door Clinic, they responded: “Come on in, we are here for you!”. And they mean it!
If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort from MPX, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Red Dood Clinic’s Monkeypox page has information on reducing the pain and discomfort that MPX causes
MPX focus this week:
- Update from the Minnesota Department of Health, they’ve started a bi-weekly conference call for community partners to hear the latest in testing, vaccinations, and treatment. This call occurs on Thursday, August 25th at 10 am. We’ll provide a breakdown of what we learned from this meeting.
- Fiscal Sponsorship: In order to collect tax-deductible donations a non-profit must agree to be the fiscal agent for the MPLS MPX Taskforce. The process usually has to be approved by the sponsor’s board of directors–which takes time. We’ve looked into incubator programs that help charities develop a business plan including a mission. These programs are a great resource for starter non-profits. Unfortunately, they’re not attuned to the needs of this organization that is attempting to mobilize an emergency response.
(If you are a member or have an affiliation with a non-profit that would be interested in offering fiscal partnership please contact Derek Johnson-Dean at 612-424-2231 0r e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Printed Material: We now have printed materials to be distributed in the community. If you would like information on how MPX is transmitted and/or business cards for this taskforce, please contact us at: email@example.com or text or call 612-424-2231.
If you would like printed material on MPX for your group or event, please contact us. We’ll give you talking points and copies of all of the handouts we have on MPX.
- Care Packages: People who have MPX must isolate for up to 4 weeks, for many without the benefit of sick or vacation time, they fall behind on rent, food, and utilities. Symptom management can be expensive: Tylenol, Ibreprim, Bynadrel, and sitz baths all help to relieve pain and discomfort. We are collecting donations to provide care packages of needed supplies for those who are unable to afford them or are not a patient at the Red Door Clinic.
Currently, we are collecting no-tax deductible donations via Venmo to help cover costs for printed materials and Care Packages. You can find us on Venmo @mplspox (Venmo is currently down when the website is available I’ll include a hyperlink)
Is MPX a sexually transmitted infection?
The short answer is “no”, but it is more complicated. MPX is transmitted via casual, skin-to-skin including sexual contact. What further complicates things is that the MPX virus can be isolated in saliva and seminal fluids which makes MPX sound like an STI.
The MPV can be detected in saliva, and semen but is there a high enough contraction of the virus for transmission via exposure to bodily fluids? For example, HIV can be detected in saliva but not enough for transmission to occur. Is this the same with MPX? That is part of the current debate.
What is clear is that there is no such thing as a “gay disease”, not MPX, nor HIV. It’s possible to have an infection start in a specific population while still being a threat to the general population as is the case with MPX.
I’ll have more of an update tomorrow after MDH updates the number of cases from this weekend and after the MDH Community Partner meeting on Thursday.
As always, if you have information that will be helpful to us, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text: 612-424-2231,
Derek Johnson-Dean, Executive Director. MPLS MPX Taskforce