Ohio reports first monkeypox-related death

About 10 percent of Ohio’s recorded monkeypox cases have required hospitalization.
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 4:49 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Ohio has its first monkeypox-related fatality, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

The ODH monkeypox dashboard recorded the fatality Thursday. 5It does not specify when the person died, where the person lived, the manner of death or whether they had underlying health conditions.

The Centers for Disease Control reports one monkeypox death. The first confirmed death occurred in Los Angeles earlier this month, per CNN, though other deaths are under investigation.

ODH does not specify when the person died, where the person lived, the manner of death or whether they had underlying health conditions.

The Columbus Dispatch reports it was an adult male who did have underlying health conditions.

We have reached out to ODH for clarification and will update this story as more information surfaces.

Ohio has recorded 276 total cases of monkeypox so far, of which 28 have required hospitalization. The first case surfaced May 29. The victims are overwhelmingly male.

Kentucky has recorded 53 total cases, according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Human Services. Indiana has recorded 228 total cases, according to the Indiana Department of Health.

The City of Cincinnati recorded its first two monkeypox cases July 26.

National case trends appear to show the virus decreasing in prevalence, according to the CDC.

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. 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:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • Rash and lesions

“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,” Cincinnati Board of Health Chair Dr. Ed Herzig said last month. “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. Data released Wednesday show the vaccines appear to be effective.

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