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Ohioans may have been exposed to monkeypox on recent flights, Ohio Dept. of Public Safety says

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Posted at 3:38 PM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-26 13:55:37-04

CLEVELAND — The Ohio Department of Safety said it was recently informed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that Ohioans may have been exposed to monkeypox on recent flights.

The CDC confirmed on July 15 a single case of monkeypox in a U.S. citizen who recently returned from Nigeria.

The flights taken by this citizen were from Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Nigeria to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International in Georgia on July 8 and Atlanta to Dallas Love Field Airport in Texas on July 9.

The CDC informed the Ohio Department of Health that there may have been Ohio residents on these flights. The CDC is currently contacting airline passengers and others who may have had contact with this citizen.

“The mandatory requirement to wear masks on all flights and in airports makes the risk of respiratory droplet transmission of monkeypox to others low,” the Ohio Department of Public Safety said in a statement.

While monkeypox is rare, it can be a potentially serious viral illness endemic in several Central and West African nations.

It typically begins with flu-like illness and swelling of lymph nodes and progresses to a widespread rash on the face and body. Most infections last two to four weeks.

Monkeypox is in the same family of viruses as smallpox, but with a milder infection. There is no specific treatment for monkeypox, although antivirals may be beneficial.

Signs and symptoms include a prodrome of fever, malaise, headache, muscle aches and swollen lymph nodes. In one to three days following the onset of the illness, a generalized rash with a similar appearance to smallpox erupts with a centrifugal distribution involving the palms of hands and feet.

According to the ODPS, during the assessment of patients, all clinicians, including EMS, should perform the following:

  • Obtain a travel history for patients exhibiting signs and symptoms that could be monkeypox
  • Consider monkeypox in patients with unexplained onset of fever, chills, new rash, or new lymphadenopathy, and a history of on the aforementioned flights or any presence in those three airports on July 8 or July 9.

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