The Ohio Department of Health Director Bruce Vanderhoff announced during a Monday press conference that his office has identified a probable case of monkeypox infection in an adult male Ohio resident based on preliminary testing.

Vanderhoff said that ODH is working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, relevant local boards of health, and the health care providers in the case.

The individual who is believed to have contracted monkeypox remains isolated and is following recommendations from public health officials and medical providers. No location was provided for the suspected monkeypox case.

“What I want to emphasize strongly is that monkeypox does not spread easily between people, and so the risk to Ohioans generally is very low,” Dr. Vanderhoff said.

Dr. Vanderhoff said the monkeypox virus spreads between people primarily through direct contact with infectious sores, scabs, or body fluids. It also can be spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact.

Monkeypox can spread during intimate contact between people, including during sex, as well as activities like kissing or touching parts of the body with monkeypox sores.

ODH is asking that anyone who is experiencing symptoms of an unexplained rash or lesions on any part of the body to contact a healthcare provider as soon as possible. 

Monkeypox is a viral illness that typically begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a rash. Cases recently identified across the country appear less likely to have the initial symptoms of flu-like illness or lymph node swelling and the rash, which may look like pimples or blisters, may also stay contained to a particular part of the body.

The incubation period for monkeypox is about 12 days but can range from 7 to 17 days). Usually, within 1 to 3 days after the appearance of fever, a patient will develop a rash of raised fluid-filled bumps. The lesions usually develop through several stages before crusting and falling off over a course of 2-4 weeks.