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Monkeypox cases are increasing in Cleveland and in Ohio

Monkeypox sample
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Cleveland and Cuyahoga County are experiencing more monkeypox cases that any other city and county in Ohio.

The monkeypox outbreak continues to grow in Cleveland, according to the Cleveland Department of Public Health (CDPH). As of Wednesday, there were 85 cases.

In the last 10 days, cases in Cleveland increased 13%, and there was a 4% increase across the state, according to a CDPH news release.

Cleveland and Cuyahoga County are experiencing more cases that any other city and county in Ohio.

“Cleveland is unique because we have a larger population of men who are Black, have sex with men and have HIV,” said Dr. David Margolius, director of CDPH. “That community is underserved and marginalized. There are less resources that have been specifically designed for them.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a majority of monkeypox cases have involved men who have sex with men.

Margolius said people with multiple or anonymous sex partners are also, particularly at risk.

Case numbers are also increasing across Ohio. There are 276 cases as of today – an increase of 13 cases over the last week, according to data on the Ohio Department of Health’s (ODH) monkeypox dashboard.

The virus is spread by skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, contact with contaminated clothes or linen, or contact with respiratory secretions from an infected individual, the news release said.

There is also a national shortage of the monkeypox vaccine, Margolius said. Based on supply shortages, the vaccine is targeted at people who have been exposed to an infected person in the last 14 days.

“We’ve got to do a better job with getting the word out to help get the vaccine to the right people,” Margolius said. “I hope people see that the vaccine is available. Hopefully, it becomes more acceptable for the communities who are at highest risk.

CDPH will host a vaccine clinic on Sept. 30 for people at risk at the Flex Spa/Mean Bull,1313 E. 26th St. from 12 to 6 pm. Both the 1st and 2nd doses of the vaccine will be offered.

Symptoms include rash and sores anywhere on the body, the CDPH said. Some people report having a fever, muscle aches and chills.

The vaccines are free and confidential. No pre‐registration or appointment is required. For more information, visit http://www.clevelandhealth.org.

Tyisha is a reporter/producer for Ideastream Public Media’s health team.