ODH: 75 confirmed cases of Monkeypox in Ohio; COVID-19 hospitalizations not increasing

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff
Posted at 9:34 AM, Aug 11, 2022

AKRON, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Health hosted a press briefing on Thursday to provide an update on COVID-19 and monkeypox.

You can watch the briefing in the player below:

ODH presser on monkeypox and COVID-19

ODH Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Akron Children's Hospital Chief Academic Officer Dr. Michael Forbes, and OhioHealth Medical Director of Infectious Disease, Dr. Joe Gastaldo spoke.

Although COVID-19 numbers have increased this summer in Ohio, Vanderhoff says there has not been an increase in hospitalizations. He continues to encourage adults and children to get fully vaccinated.

Forbes states that overall vaccinations in children have decreased over the last two years and children who return to school are at risk for contracting a myriad of infections without the necessary vaccinations.

In regards to monkeypox in Ohio, there are currently 75 confirmed cases. A high number of the cases are in Ohio's larger metropolitan areas, such as Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. The risk remains low in Ohio, Vanderhoff said.

Vanderhoff said that monkeypox does not spread as easily as COVID-19. He went on to say that the trend in the confirmed cases shows the virus was spread during sexual intercourse or prolonged face to face contact with someone who is infected.

Here are the signs and symptoms of monkeypox, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

People with monkeypox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals or anus and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.
  • The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
  • The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.

Other symptoms of monkeypox can include:
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Headache
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)

You may experience all or only a few symptoms
  • Sometimes, people have flu-like symptoms before the rash.
  • Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms.
  • Others only experience a rash.

In order to prevent the spread of monkeypox, health officials recommend the following:
  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
  • Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.

Specifically, monkeypox can spread the following ways:
  • Person-to-person through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs or body fluids.
  • Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, such as while kissing, cuddling, or sex.
  • From pregnant person to fetus through the placenta.
  • Touching things that were used by a person with monkeypox, including sheets, towels, and other objects that touched the infectious rash or body fluids.

RELATED: Summit County reports first monkeypox case in a resident

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