Ohio reports 1st probable monkeypox case in the state

State

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio health officials say they have identified the first probable case of monkeypox in the state.

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, director of the Ohio Department of Health, told reporters Monday that a man in Ohio tested positive for an orthopox virus. State health officials are working with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to try to confirm whether the disease is in fact monkeypox, he said.

Vanderhoff stressed that monkeypox is not the same as COVID-19, and does not spread as easily from person to person.

Monkeypox is a rare disease from the same virus family as smallpox. Currently, there are 65 confirmed cases in the United States and nearly 1,500 outside of countries in Africa where the virus usually spreads.

Vanderhoff declined to release specific information about the case to protect the privacy of the patient, but he said it isn’t “atypical” compared to other U.S. cases. The patient remains isolated and is following recommendations of medical providers and public health officials, he said.

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Samantha Hendrickson is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow Samantha Hendrickson on Twitter.