Health department reports probable cases of monkeypox in Lucas County

(Toledo-Lucas County Health Department)
Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 1:43 PM EDT
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LUCAS COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department said they are working with the Ohio Department of Health on investigating two probable cases of monkeypox infection in the county.

According to TLCHD, the individuals tested positive for orthopoxvirus in lesion samples while meeting both clinical and epidemiologic criteria.

The department noted that they are following up with people these individuals may have had close contact with.

“Monkeypox is a very rare disease in the United States,” said Dr. Eric Zgodzinski, Health Commissioner. “Monkeypox does not spread easily between people, but anyone in close contact with a person with monkeypox can get it and should take steps to protect themselves. This virus has not shown the ability to spread rapidly in the general population. Based on the information currently available, the risk to the public appears to be very low.”

TLCHD said that once a positive case is detected, they do a thorough tracing and monitoring of close contacts.

If a contact is determined to be eligible for post-exposure prophylaxis, they can receive the monkeypox vaccine on a referral basis.

Antiviral treatment will be available to eligible patients in Lucas County, but at this time is reserved for those who are more likely to get severely ill or have weakened immune systems.

TLCHD said they will closely monitor the situation, and update the public about the status of the virus as well as other measures that can be taken to minimize the effects of the outbreak.

Illness typically begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion and swelling of the lymph nodes, according to TLCHD.

After a few days, they said a specific type of rash appears, often starting on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body.

Symptoms generally appear seven to 14 days after exposure and, for most people, clear up within two to four weeks.

TLCHD recommends that if you are sick and have symptoms consistent with monkeypox, you should seek medical care from your health care provider, especially if you are in one of the following groups:

• Those who traveled to locations where monkeypox cases have been reported, or other areas with confirmed cases of monkeypox during the month before their symptoms began.

• Those who have had contact with a person with confirmed or suspected monkeypox.

• Close or intimate in-person contact with individuals in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity including meeting partners through an online website, digital app or social event.

If you need to seek care, call your health care provider first.

Let them know you are concerned about possible monkeypox infection so they can take precautions to ensure that others are not exposed.

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