Summit County has its first confirmed case of monkeypox in a county resident, but that person is not in the county currently.
The person is associated with out-of-state travel and has no direct contact with people in the county, Summit County Public Health reported Thursday morning. The person will complete their isolation period out of state, the department said.
State health officials were notified by health officials in another state that the Summit County resident had contracted monkeypox; Ohio officials then notified Summit County health officials. The person is not being identified.
It is likely the person contracted the virus while outside of Summit County and the person has not returned to the county while infected, officials said. Officials say they are not concerned about this person infecting others within Summit County.
Monkeypox in neighboring counties
While there are no confirmed cases of monkeypox within Summit County, there are cases in neighboring counties, Donna Skoda, county health commissioner, said Thursday.
"We don't have cases now. We certainly have concerns that individuals protect themselves as best they can," Skoda said. "And that would be following protocols. ... We're just encouraging individuals to protect themselves."
Summit County will be getting an allocation of monkeypox vaccine in the near future, Skoda said.
"We just don't know how much yet," she said. "Since we technically don't have any cases yet, I don't think we'll get much."
Right now, there are limited supplies of the vaccine, she said. "There isn't a ton of it to go around," she said.
The vaccine will be given to people in accordance to the guidance that comes with it, Skoda said. "We don't know what that will be yet."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not recommend the monkeypox vaccine for the general public.
Monkeypox is transmitted largely, but not exclusively, through skin-to-skin contact, health officials say.
So far, between 96% and 98% of known monkeypox cases nationally, and in Ohio, are in males and have been spread largely by male-to-male contact, the county health department said. People currently most at risk of contracting the disease are individuals with multiple partners, males who have sex with other males, and people who attend raves and sex parties.
"That doesn't mean males are more vulnerable to the illness," Skoda said. "Skin to skin contact appears to be your greatest risk."
Monkeypox spreads through contact
Summit County Health said monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact. Those methods include:
Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox.
Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
Contact with respiratory secretions.
Direct contact can happen during intimate contact, including:
Oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus of a person with monkeypox.
Hugging, massage, and kissing.
Prolonged face-to-face contact.
Touching fabrics and objects during sex.
A person with monkeypox can spread it to others from the time symptoms start until the rashhas fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.
Monkeypox symptoms include a rash on or near the genitals or anus and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.
The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing. The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
Other symptoms of monkeypox can include:
Swollen lymph nodes
Muscle aches and backache
Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
People may experience all or only a few symptoms:
Sometimes, people have flu-like symptoms before the rash.
Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms.
Others only experience a rash.
Public health experts advise the following precautions to avoid contracting monkeypox:
Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks likemonkeypox.
Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.
Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after using the bathroom.
Testing is the best way to determine if an infection is monkeypox.
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Monkeypox case confirmed in out of state Summit County resident