COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Two possible cases of monkeypox have been found in Ohio adults, the state Health Department said Thursday.
One is from Butler County north of Cincinnati and the other is from Putnam County southwest of Toledo.
Monkeypox is similar to smallpox in people, but milder. The incubation period is about 12 days. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, general discomfort and a rash. The disease lasts two weeks to four weeks.
The Butler County patient, who had contact with a wallaby, is classified as a suspect case, which means the patient was exposed to an exotic pet and has either a rash or two of the symptoms.
The Putnam County patient, who had contact with a prairie dog, is classified as a probable case, which means the patient was exposed to an exotic pet and has a rash and two or more symptoms.
Monkeypox first was found in the United States in June 2003.
Most cases have begun with exposure to pet prairie dogs infected with monkeypox.
Suspected monkeypox cases also have been reported in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and New Jersey.
In Ohio, the state Department of Agriculture began contacting pet retailers Thursday, informing the businesses the federal government has banned the sale of prairie dogs and the importation of African rodents.