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City officials give update on reported monkeypox cases in Cincinnati

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City officials give update on reported monkeypox cases in Cincinnati



Come on, good morning, last Tuesday. The Cincinnati Health department informed city manager’s office that Cincinnati had its first two confirmed cases of monkeypox, *** viral disease that has been spreading in the United States since May. In response to the presence of monkeypox cases here we as *** city have begun *** close partnership with the county and local health experts to proactively take steps to stop the spread of this virus. Today, I’m joined by Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus, council member Reggie Harris, Vice Mayor Jan Michele, Lemon kearney Cincinnati, interim Health Commissioner, Grant Mussman, Hamilton County Health Commissioner Greg Chesterman dr jennifer Forrester of UC Health and Tiffany. Mattingly of the health collaborative. These regional leaders and experts will discuss the information, we have expectations moving forward and recommendations to help all residents stay as safe as possible as the past couple of years have shown us. It is absolutely critical during public health challenges to listen to the experts and to make data driven informed decisions to keep our friends, neighbors and relatives safe. The city of Cincinnati and Hamilton County remain committed to this and in collaboration with the broader health community. We will continue to do what we can to keep our communities informed and safe. It’s important to note that since the beginning of this, of this monkeypox issue, Council member Reggie Harris has been on the, on the ground working collaboratively with the county with the city to bring us all together to make this very important announcement around the prevention of monkeypox and the awareness in our community up. Next is Hamilton’s Commissioner Denise Treehouse, Thank you. I’m gonna just speak very briefly because I like you want to hear from the experts related to what’s going on with monkeypox, but I do want to say um and as the mayor alluded to Reggie, Harris council member called the other day and said, hey, what are we doing about monkey pox? Um you know, we’ve got *** couple of cases here in Cincinnati, people are asking questions. They want to know what the disease is, how the disease is spread and what we can do about it locally to try to prevent monkey pox from becoming *** large issue here in Cincinnati and in Hamilton County and I will tell you from firsthand experience, my son lives in new york and they are standing in very long lines trying to get the monkey pox pox vaccine in new york city and so you know, we brought folks together and Reggie was really the tip of the spear here. Um but we already have an infrastructure That we have used because of COVID-19 before that we did not have this kind of automatic collaboration, but we have *** system now that we can stand up because we’ve been through this before, this is like drill number two and so the county and the city in the city health department and the county health department and the health collaborative in the hospitals all now know how to work together with one another to make sure this community is informed and we’re providing accurate information so that people can remain safe. And so I’m really proud of the infrastructure that’s been built. It’s been *** couple of years in the making, but here we are and this Reggie I think was you brought it to my attention last week, the mayor got involved and here we are with relative partners to make sure that people have the information they need. So with that I’m gonna introduce council member Reggie Harris, thank you Mayor approval and Commissioner Driehaus, I appreciate your words and uh and praise but I have to say though I may have been the tip of the spear, the response by our city health officials are city administration, the mayor and the county commission was swift and fast and we are all lockstep and and moving forward. Um so as *** member of the LGBTQ Plus community, uh I feel this deeply because many folks in my community are afraid of contracting the monkeypox virus have maybe even contracted it. Uh and we feel little echoes of *** time before when we think about other uh illnesses that may have *** more uh specific population that it was targeted and so we know Coming out of COVID-19 as the commissioner said, we have *** robust and strong infrastructure to be very proactive and I believe the leadership in this city, we can really lead in the nation in being responsive to the monkey pox virus. Uh I appreciate the effort that is being taken by the CDC and local health departments to de stigmatize the monkey pox virus and ensure that discrimination isn’t endured by those that may have it. However, I do want to make sure that we are very clear in our message and that although anyone can contract monkeypox virus, most cases are among men who have sex with men, which is why we must target our education and our messaging to those individuals in the community. L G B T Q I plus community. It’s *** delicate situation and it must be handled with care while also again providing very clear and direct messaging, which I’m so excited to have our experts here to be able to answer any questions. Uh, and then I just want to close by saying over the next few weeks, I will work closely with our city and county administrators, our health experts, both public and private on an advocacy plan to make to take more proactive steps in providing the monkey pox vaccine. So with that I will bring up Dr Grant Mussman. Thank you. So I’m Grant Mussman. I’m the interim health commissioner for the city of Cincinnati and Greg Chesterman is here with me too. He is the health commissioner for Hamilton County. I just want to emphasize that monkey pox does require *** public health response that works very closely with providers for the healthcare delivery response and for evaluation of folks who may who may be at risk of having it or have the symptoms. And the city of Cincinnati Health Department’s been working closely with the Hamilton County Health Department to figure out exactly how those components fit together and what the public health response looks like. Good morning Greg, Testerman, health Commissioner for Hamilton County and very much like the beginning of Covid. You know, we started working and collaborating together. I do really want to start off by making sure to reiterate that what we’ve already heard is that right now in Ohio, we are not seeing *** lot of cases. In fact, we only have 23 cases in the state of Ohio to here in Hamilton County so far. So we are not seeing the spread that we are seeing in other communities but now is the time to do that kind of groundbreaking work and get things together. The public health response will continue just like Covid with *** lot of information, making sure the public has access to information, making sure that we’re working with our partners to help clear the vaccine. There’s *** process to getting vaccine to our health care providers and then managing vaccination for un and under vaccinated or under insured Medicare Medicaid patients. And then lastly just like COVID-19, our team is responsible for contact tracing, which we have *** lot of experience with. As commissioner Driehaus said, we really built this system already during Covid 19 and we’re going to continue to leverage the system that we have built to manage any cases of monkeypox that we see within our community information can be found on our web page which is h c ph dot org back slash monkeypox here. You’ll find information about who is eligible for the vaccine. More information about the virus and information from the Centers for Disease Control. It’s important to remember that monkeypox is *** rare disease and it’s usually not seen in the United States. So this is kind of *** new occurrence in our country. Um however, we are seeing cases increase. Monkeypox is spread through close intimate skin to skin contact with someone who has monkey pox. So the chances of you just going into the community today and getting monkeypox remain extremely low. It’s important to work closely with your healthcare provider if you feel you have symptoms or may have been exposed to an active case has already mentioned, public health will work with that health care provider to make sure that we are getting information and if *** vaccine is needed because of exposure, we are able to get that vaccine back to the health care provider to provide to the patient. And with that I will turn it over to dR Forrester actually Greg if I can just add to that. We have that for city of Cincinnati residents. We have that information on the city of Cincinnati Health department website as well. Hello I am General Forrester. I’m an infectious disease specialist at U. C. Health as it was stated. Monkeypox coming out of *** pandemic where we had *** very infectious respiratory spread disease. Monkeypox is *** little different. Um As mentioned it’s *** close contact, actual skin to skin or with body fluids and certainly not as we we do not believe is respiratory droplets as much transmission in that respect. So definitely looking at as um as councilman Harris mentioned that we want to target currently what we’re seeing in the United States is that the population most affected right now is men who have sex with men. Um but that may or may not be the case. This although certainly um sexual contact is *** close intimate contact. It is not the only way that this virus is spread. So um just to be clear on how the virus is spread. Typically this comes up as um usually most patients have *** pro drone beforehand. So this is where people feel kind of pretty. They feel like they have the flu, they have *** headache, they might have *** fever, they might have body aches and then typically that’s followed by *** rash *** couple of days later. The rash is as the name would describe poxy which usually means like *** little bubble. Um But it can be present in *** lot of different ways. Uh Some people actually don’t have that program at all and may only develop the rash. So it may be different from patient to patient. Um And that’s why it’s important to if you even suspect that you had *** contact or suspect that your rash may be related to monkey pox that you see your healthcare provider and get tested. And then the as as we’ve discussed there’s *** robust public health system behind that contact to do contact tracing and then vaccinate anyone who is who is exposed. And with that Tiffany here uh DR Forrester, if you guys don’t mind, I have *** couple of questions. First off, what is, can you define what pro derm is? And second of all other than um other than sex, what else constitutes *** physical touch that would pass the virus? Yes, sorry about that using medical terminology but um so approach jerome is just that kind of feeling you feel before you know you’re really sick, right? So it’s just I don’t feel good, I don’t feel normal today. Um So that’s mostly what that, is that the time, right before your fever, your rash or something like that. And so again in the United States there are people who have monkeypox who are not M. S. M. Like we said that’s the majority of people that other people have it as well. And so um kissing can be *** close intimate contact um you know rubbing against any sores or um open lesions or even potentially some certain types of scabs can be contact, that’s direct skin to skin contact and can transfer the virus from one person to another. Um Again, anything we can do preventative to to stop more cases in our community that can then stop those cases from from reaching all parts of our community. This is this is because of covid, this is gonna be so confusing for so many people. That’s why messaging is very important for covid, but that’s not because of monkeypox necessarily correct. Right. There is potentially just as *** scientific aside there is potentially droplets spread with monkeypox but that is not well studied and not what we think is the main way that that sorry that it is the main way that Covid gets from person to person. Not the main way that monkey pox gets from person to person during the AIDS epidemic. Safe sex came out of that condom use all of that. Are you now recommending that seem kind of protocol to help prevent the spread of this? So so I recommend safe sex for *** lot of reasons for the spread of *** lot of other diseases. But as I mentioned and and condom use can help but it is not uh the only way that that should be used to prevent prevent the spread. So it is really just skin to skin contact, not necessarily body fluids which is what condoms may help protect against. Um and and I also thank you for that question also, I want to be very clear what’s important about this is awareness of one’s body, right, recognizing and being in touch looking for symptoms and skin and then isolating and being proactive about seeking treatment so that we understand that this is absolutely something that we have control over because we can make very clear short term decisions about our body and our contact with people. So again, in messaging, it is about being aware of that pro derm feeling that was described very clearly. It’s about checking out your body, seeing any unusual rashes or lesions and then connecting with your primary care provider. Very simple, easy steps that anyone can follow to be able to mitigate the impacts of this virus. One more question that I have. Sorry guys, what what are the, what are the health outcomes of monkeypox other than the rash or the parks themselves? So to date there have not been many deaths. So it’s not *** particularly um serious disease for most people. Um like we saw with Covid, I believe I heard on the radio today that there was *** death reported in *** different part of the country or *** different part of the world that was outside of africa where they don’t have as many um not as much access to good medical care, but in *** place that actually did have access to medical care typically that is going to be in an immuno suppressed populations, just like with covid. Um, but but the rash can be pretty extensive actually and and can be disturbing for people. Um, as you can imagine, um luckily this country, we haven’t seen um small talks in the past because of of great vaccination efforts um several decades ago. And we also haven’t seen *** whole lot of chickenpox these days. I mean, I had chickenpox, but but many of our young our younger communities have not. So the rash can be pretty distinctly affecting people and can potentially leave scars vaccine. And this might be for anybody out there that can answer this question. Should people start thinking about getting *** vaccine and what is the availability of the vaccine and how effective it holding up? Right. So I’ll talk quickly about the effectiveness of the vaccine and then I’ll let others kind of talk about the availability. But um if given within um about four days of the contact, the efficacy of preventing uh preventing the signs of monkeypox is about 85 Given with within 4-14 days. That comes down *** little bit, but still pretty high. Um, and again, I will I will again, echo Doctor I’m making um councilman Harris’s comment that it’s really about watching your body knowing your symptoms. Because even during that time, if you would develop symptoms, you’d want to isolate and prevent transmission to others who might be at risk in getting the vaccine right now as *** preventative measure. Well, so we don’t we I will again turn it over for availability of vaccine. But at this point, you know, there is, there is *** trickle down effect from public health officials as to how much we actually have available. Not much the vaccine supply at this time is extremely limited. And it’s being apportioned to the states by the CDC based on *** risk calculation. The strategy with vaccination right now is to get vaccine into the arms of folks who are recently exposed or who are early in their symptom course. And the rationale there is, even if you’re early in the symptom course and you have monkeypox, you can actually decrease the duration of having the active lesions and decrease the likelihood, which will decrease the likelihood of spreading. Uh, and then of course vaccinating the people who’ve been exposed. If you can vaccinate them early, you can again decrease the likelihood of spreading. Hopefully in the future there will be more vaccine available. But right now, that’s the strategy and the rationale for the providers out there for folks who are seeing patients who may have been exposed to monkeypox or definitely have been. Uh, so the way the vaccine allocation works, we can get you the vaccine, but you just need to call us and we’ll share the contact information, curious what lessons are we learning right now from san Francisco and new york and the density of you think it’s *** situation that people just have not been aware, we’re trying to make Cincinnati is aware or what’s your impression. So I think it’s ***, you know, we have *** new disease that’s spreading in *** different manner. Um, but in ways that we’ve seen before, not just with Covid, but I think someone referenced the early AIDS epidemic. Um, and you know, we have different stigmas and different hesitations to get through in terms of contact tracing or identifying risk exposures. So yeah, I think there’s lots of lessons to be learned from from all of those things. The symptoms can be *** bit non specific. You know, you get that I feel bad pro drome and then you get the rash, which is why it’s important to have the provider involved and also to make sure that there aren’t other diseases that need to be tested for evaluated for. And I have really quick follow up to you dr Forrester. You know, it’s not just men with men, it’s also learning that it could be lens and it could be things that are touched at one point. I mean, is there some concern that folks who are in that category would be like, I don’t want to whatever. Right? So, so this is the delicate line that councilman Harris kind of talked about right? So, um again stated, anyone can get this disease, but but getting information out to those most affected right now is is very important. And yes, there, there have been cases or at least the thought that that is how that would spread in some of the other communities. You mentioned, how, what are we learning from other places where this is spreading and we’re learning those things. So um making sure that linens and towels, etcetera are cared for appropriately, if you are someone that develops *** rash really. So it’s really from the lesions though, right? So it’s not just um, you know, I’m not gonna shake hands or whatever, but the other thing that we hope we’ve learned through covid and ways that everyone can protect themselves. I’ll say it again, say it again, Say it again is wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands to um, so that’s one of the ways that we can, I do want to add again, because this is about, this is an information campaign. This is not to cite any sort of hysteria. We have the tools as *** community to manage this, right? We look after each other, we recognize our body symptoms and then we respond appropriately and all we’re saying is that this is *** moment where we need to put that at the forefront, right? We remember when we had chicken pox and you would look at your Children and say, oh, that looks strange, let me check this out and you would take precautions. It’s the same thing, except it’s *** little bit target more targeted and has *** little bit more of an acute reaction. So I do want to make sure that as we are talking about this messaging, this is something that we absolutely have the power to help mitigate and to take proactive steps with. And it’s just simply about awareness, reporting, engaging with your provider. Can I just I just want to follow up just real quick. So it’s Reggie just said it this um when people develop these symptoms they should contact their primary care provider. Uh the health departments, the city and the county are partnering with the private sector with the hospital sector to make sure that we have vaccine when necessary. But the point of contact for the individual is their primary care providers. So that’s where they should go if they develop symptoms or suspect that they may have been exposed quickly the within the L. G. B. T. Q. Plus community for those that are not connected to that in certain ways. Is there you’re saying we’re not here to incite panic or whatnot. Is there some anxiety? What’s the message in that? In that? So the message is actually very clear. And it’s and again when I said in my remarks about *** plan to advocate towards the C. D. C. Uh it’s just to make sure that we are working as diligently as possible one to produce more of the vaccine and to to have uh more distributed and available to States, we know across the United States that there are issues with supply chain across all sectors, but to elevate this uh and to move with just *** sense of urgency. So that’s the sense of urgency is about making sure that we have enough vaccine. And that the current process by which our public health departments can receive the vaccine. It’s uh it’s truncated some. Right? So that doesn’t have so many steps, but it’s just available uh more widespread and just cause I like that. Questions like that. Dr Forrester, one more. We have two cases in Cincinnati. Cincinnati. Now going 23 said at what point is there? Do the alarm bells really starting to sound if that needs to happen? Well, I think there there it is the process, the step by step process that councilman Harris talked about is really getting awareness out there. Hopefully that is one step to prevent further transmission. Um, I think everyone here would say we look at anyone who is who is is positive as something. We need to start directing our messages or changing messages or expanding messages at every case. We see that’s positive quarantine protocols and more. Right? So, um there’s two parts of it just to be clear. You know, this is one of those things we learned through Covid isolation is is the, you know, isolating yourself when you actually have symptoms of the disease. Um, and that really that the person who has um rash or *** rash confirmed to be monkeypox, uh, actually, it can be very variable as to how long they kind of remain in isolation. It’s when those lesions have, um not only scabbed over, but also um, have new skin formation over them so that they’re not open and that’s every lesion. Um, also, we would hope that they didn’t buy that time, didn’t have *** fever and that can vary from person to person based on their, you know, how well their skin heals. Um, in terms of quarantine, which is the exposed individual. Um, this is one of those times where we ask people to really watch your body know your body. Um, and I know the symptoms that are, that are coming up, right? So it’s ***, it’s *** good most symptoms will show up between 1 to 2 weeks after exposure, but it can be as long as 21 days or even *** bit longer of time to really watch yourself, know what your symptoms are due skin exams on yourself. Look for the pro drone, that kind of thing, and, and and to look at your risk factors and try to maybe pull this back if, sorry if you, um, you know, we weren’t going to be in *** sporting event or, you know, or any other issue. So, again, watch your body, this is knowledge um, for you and to really pay attention to yourself and your own symptoms and your own activities real quick to you. I mean, maybe *** closing remark. I mean, we’re all so tired of everything right now. Like are you kidding me? But such *** serious issue. The fatigue. You’re the mayor of *** big city. How do you encourage people? Well look, what makes Cincinnati special is that we look after each other and this is another opportunity for us to to take personal responsibility uh to do everything that we need to do to keep ourselves safe. And as *** result, keep our family and our community safe. I’ll just end by saying this. We continue to be in the original pandemic of COVID-19 and we have been seeing numbers um uh steadily increase. Uh the city is recommending mask wearing and just want to reiterate that um in order to protect yourself and your community. Getting vaccinated, getting boosted wearing masks indoors if you can’t um if you can’t socially distance because while we have very good hospital capacity at this point, as we’ve seen in the past, particularly with omicron that can change very quick. So as council member, Harris has said, we have the capacity to deal with monkeypox. We have the capacity to deal with COVID-19. We just have to be aware, take personal responsibility and take action in order to keep us all safe. Thank you all so much. Mm

City officials give update on reported monkeypox cases in Cincinnati

Cincinnati and Hamilton County leaders gave an update Monday after health officials reported two cases of monkeypox in the region. Last week, the Cincinnati Health Department reported the first likely cases of monkeypox in the city. The CHD says the two likely positive cases were reported by the patients’ health care providers. Hamilton County Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman said there have been 23 reported cases in Ohio, including the two reported cases in the Cincinnati region.Kesterman said while the region is not seeing a high spread like other areas, it’s important to be proactive and spread awareness on the virus. Kesterman said health officials are also working on clearing the vaccine for health care providers and make sure they’re being thorough with contact tracing.Unlike COVID-19, monkeypox is spread through close skin-to-skin contact, not viral transmission. People who contract it often experience symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, headaches, chills, lesions and swollen lymph nodes.The irritating blisters are critical in the virus’ spread.If someone thinks they have monkeypox, they should call their physician to get tested. According to health officials, the test can be painful because it requires swabbing the lesion. Kesterman noted since the virus is not usually seen in the United States, supply for the vaccine is limited. Currently, health officials said vaccines are given to people who have been in close contact with the virus, like a family member or partner. The vaccine can be protective if a person takes it within four days of exposure. If it is taken within 14 days, it can reduce the duration of symptoms. For more information on the vaccine and how to avoid the virus, visit hcph.org/monkeypox.

Cincinnati and Hamilton County leaders gave an update Monday after health officials reported two cases of monkeypox in the region.

Last week, the Cincinnati Health Department reported the first likely cases of monkeypox in the city.

The CHD says the two likely positive cases were reported by the patients’ health care providers.

Hamilton County Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman said there have been 23 reported cases in Ohio, including the two reported cases in the Cincinnati region.

Kesterman said while the region is not seeing a high spread like other areas, it’s important to be proactive and spread awareness on the virus. Kesterman said health officials are also working on clearing the vaccine for health care providers and make sure they’re being thorough with contact tracing.

Unlike COVID-19, monkeypox is spread through close skin-to-skin contact, not viral transmission. People who contract it often experience symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, headaches, chills, lesions and swollen lymph nodes.

The irritating blisters are critical in the virus’ spread.

If someone thinks they have monkeypox, they should call their physician to get tested. According to health officials, the test can be painful because it requires swabbing the lesion.

Kesterman noted since the virus is not usually seen in the United States, supply for the vaccine is limited.

Currently, health officials said vaccines are given to people who have been in close contact with the virus, like a family member or partner. The vaccine can be protective if a person takes it within four days of exposure. If it is taken within 14 days, it can reduce the duration of symptoms.

For more information on the vaccine and how to avoid the virus, visit hcph.org/monkeypox.



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