Ohioan quarantined after traveling on same flight as monkeypox patient

U.S. & World

In this 1971 Center For Disease Control handout photo, monkeypox-like lesions are shown on the arm and leg of a female child in Bondua, Liberia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said June 7 the viral disease monkeypox, thought to be spread by prairie dogs, has been detected in the Americas for the first time with about 20 cases reported in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. (Photo Courtesy of the CDC/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) – An Ohioan is in quarantine after traveling on the same flight as a man who was diagnosed with monkeypox after traveling overseas, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed a single case of monkeypox on July 15 in a Texas resident who recently returned from Nigeria.

The patient flew into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on July 9 from Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Nigeria, and then went on to Dallas Love Field Airport. He was admitted to a hospital in Dallas.

The Ohio Department of Health said Friday that one Ohio resident is in quarantine after traveling on one of those flights, but their risk of exposure is low.

Ohio health officials say the mask requirement on planes and in airports due to the COVID-19 pandemic significantly reduces the risk of transmitting monkeypox through respiratory droplets.

According to health officials, monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness found in several Central and West African nations. It’s in the same virus family as smallpox, but it causes a milder infection.

According to the CDC, these are the signs and symptoms to look out for:

The illness begins with:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body.

The average incubation period is five to 13 days, and most infections last two to four weeks.

The Ohioan will be quarantined and monitored for 21 days, and monitoring will end July 30 following the potential exposure on July 9. At this time, the individual being monitored has not experienced symptoms consistent with monkeypox.

Human-to-human transmission of the virus is typically through respiratory droplets, but it can also be transmitted through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, contaminated items. 

There’s no specific treatment for monkeypox.

The health department said all Ohio clinicians, including those in EMS, should be aware of the signs and symptoms of monkeypox and the current guidance that has been recommended by the CDC.

If you have any questions about how to keep from being infected with the monkeypox virus, visit CDC Prevention.

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