ST PAUL, Minnesota — The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reports 87 monkeypox cases in the state with 82 of cases coming from within the Twin Cities metro area.
Only three people have been hospitalized in the state, according to MDH Assistant Commissioner Dan Huff in a news conference Thursday afternoon.
Outside of the metro area, Huff says the state has five cases in Greater Minnesota but could not release any information regarding whereabout in the state.
Out of the 87 cases, 82 cases were reported in men, and ages of all cases range between 22 and 61.
While many cases in the state and around the country have involved men who have sex with men, officials emphasized anyone in prolonged face-to-face, skin-to-skin contact with an infected person can get monkeypox.
"Anyone can get monkeypox regardless of sexual identification and orientation ... monkeypox does not target one group of people ... it's important to avoid stigmatizing any groups," said Huff.
Monkeypox symptoms usually include a rash that can appear on the face, inside the mouth and on other parts of the body.
According to MDH website other symptoms can include:
- Fever or chills
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Body aches (including muscle and back)
State epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield provided information on the amount of vaccine in Minnesota, saying there are 6,000 vials and that the state is "expecting more in the weeks ahead."
"We continue to allocate those based upon folks who are at the higher risk and folks who have been exposed to someone who has monkeypox," Huff said.
Out of the 6,000 vials, Huff says 2,300 doses have been used so far in Minnesota.
Each vial can give four to five doses, however, Lynfield said getting five doses out of one vial is "really hard" and depends on how providers "draw out" the vaccine.
According to Lynfield, each dose needs to be used within eight hours of opening before expiring.
Most eligible for the vaccine are those at risk for the most severe disease, which officials say right now are the immunocompromised, including those living with HIV.
"We have made sure that the providers in our state who see the most people living HIV have access to vaccines," said Jennifer Heath.
Heath added that those next in line for vaccines would be people at highest risk to get monkeypox.
"That would be people who have more than one partner, or perhaps people who have been to venues where they are having sex with multiple partners or anonymous partners."
Heath encouraged medical providers to make "clinical judgements" to best determine whether a person is eligible for a vaccine.
MDH says it is expecting more information from the CDC on the allocation of the state's vaccination supply early next week.
Watch more local news:
Watch the latest local news from the Twin Cities in our YouTube playlist: