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First probable case of monkeypox is reported in Ohio

Lab testing for virus
Lab testing for virus

There is now one probable case of monkeypox in the Buckeye State.

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said the agency has identified a probable case of monkeypox and is waiting for confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But unlike COVID-19, Vanderhoff said monkeypox is not spread easily through airborne particles.

“Monkeypox does not spread easily between people and so the risk to Ohioans generally is very low,” Vanderhoff said.

Vanderhoff says monkeypox is usually spread through skin to skin contact and prolonged intimate contact.

He said people who get it typically have flu-like symptoms and possibly a rash or something that looks like pimples or blisters. While he said anyone can get monkeypox, he said most of the cases so far in the U.S. have occurred in men who have sex with men.

Vanderhoff wouldn't disclose where the patient lives in Ohio or where the illness might have been contracted due to patient confidentiality.

While this is likely the first case in Ohio, there has been more than five dozen confirmed cases of the illness in the U.S. this year. Vanderhoff didn't say whether the patient had traveled to other places recently before coming down with the illness. Vanderhoff said the patient is isolated and is following recommendations from public health authorities and their doctor.

According to the CDC website, Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the Monkeypox virus. It was first discovered in 1958 in monkeys kept for research. The first human case was recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

On another note, Vanderhoff warned Ohioans to beware of heat stroke this week. With temperatures in the 90's, he said it is important for people to beware of heat-related illnesses.

"Heat exhaustion or heat stroke are real dangers in this kind of weather," Vanderhoff said.

Vanderhoff advised Ohioans to try to stay indoors with air conditioning if possible. He also advised Ohioans to drink plenty of fluids. He said if you must do something outdoors, it's important to wear light clothing and take breaks on a regular basis to avoid becoming overheated.

Contact Jo Ingles at
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