Two confirmed cases of monkeypox in Cincinnati, health department says
The virus often causes mild illness with symptoms resolving in 2-4 weeks, according to the CDC.
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Cincinnati has two confirmed positive cases of monkeypox, according to the Cincinnati Health Department.
CHD Assistant Health Commissioner Dr. Maryse Amin briefed the Cincinnati Board of Health on the cases during a meeting Tuesday night.
The Centers for Disease Control reports 17 cases of monkeypox in Ohio and 3,591 country-wide, according to the CDC case map.
Kentucky has six cases; Indiana has 33, per the CDC.
The Cincinnati cases were identified through the patients’ healthcare providers after the patients developed a new rash. The providers requested and received monkeypox vaccines from the national stockpile, and those vaccines were administered to the patient’s close contacts.
The second case remains under investigation, according to CHD Supervising Epidemiologist Dr. Kimberly Wright.
Both patients were advised to isolate at home until their rashes healed and there were no longer infections, the CHD says.
Monkeypox is a rare virus first discovered in humans in 1970. Previously, it has been observed only in central and western Africa. Since May, however, countries around the globe have reported outbreaks, and the World Health Organization declared a global public health emergency for the virus last weekend.
Most American cases are found in men who have sex with men, according to Cincinnati Board of Health Chair Dr. Ed Herzig. That said, the virus can affect anyone.
It is spread through close contact, including exposure to an infected person’s rash, scabs or bodily fluids; respiratory secretions in prolonged periods of physical proximity or sexual activity; and touching items that have touched the infected source.
Monkeypox is in the same family of viruses as that which causes smallpox. The symptoms are similar to smallpox but less severe. Most cases result in mild illness, and fatalities are rare. Symptoms usually last 2-4 weeks. They include:
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Rash and lesions
Physicians expect few patients to require hospitalizations, and the push now is to standardize diagnostic and testing guidelines.
“Hopefully monkeypox can be blunted because there is a specific group of people that, if they get vaccinated, will help reduce the spread. You can get contact spread, but the vast majority are men who have sex with men,” Herzig said. “And so that is a defined population, it makes it easier to try to target your preventions. So hopefully we can do that, we just need more vaccine.”
There are two vaccines approved for use in people who have been exposed to monkeypox. Access to both is currently limited, though the CDC expects more in the coming weeks and months.
There are no available data on the effectiveness of the vaccines in the current outbreak.
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