COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio’s top health official said Monday that a person living in Ohio has become the state’s first “probable” case of monkeypox.
Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, director of the Department of Health, gave the announcement at a 3 p.m. meeting with the media. Watch him in the video player above.
The director said the first case was still awaiting additional, specific testing for monkeypox by the CDC to confirm, but initial testing for the orthopoxvirus family made the Ohio man the first probable case. Vanderhoff did not identify the man with the disease, how they got the case or say where they lived in the state. He did say that there was nothing unusual about this case compared to any of the other cases.
“What we know very well about monkeypox is that, as I said, it’s not easily transmitted, it requires very close contact between two individuals for the spread to occur,” Vanderhoff said.
Vanderhoff immediately distanced monkeypox from COVID-19, saying the virus behind the pandemic has much easier transmission. Anyone can get monkeypox, but it is spread through direct contact with infectious sores or prolonged face-to-face contact, Vanderhoff said.
“This disease is not like COVID-19, which as we know can spread easily from person to person through the air over several feet,” Vanderhoff said.
The CDC has confirmed 49 cases in the United States, and more than 15,000 worldwide, but no deaths have been reported. Vanderhoff said there is very little risk to the public.
Vanderhoff last had a media briefing on May 18, when he addressed COVID-19, and earlier in the year he had regular weekly updates on the pandemic. The topic for Monday’s briefing was not immediately available.