Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Butler's monkeypox hot line is ringing



By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

HAMILTON - A Butler County Health Department hot line established for monkeypox-related concerns fielded 50 calls over the weekend, an official said Monday.Health officials set up the hot line, 863-1770, after authorities learned a pet wallaby may have been exposed to the virus before it visited Bloomfield Elementary School on May 27.

Monkeypox, an African virus, is similar to smallpox but milder.

None of the hot line calls led officials to declare additional suspected cases of monkeypox. The 12-to-21-day incubation period for the disease has passed, so concerns about possible transmission have diminished, health department director Patricia Burg said.

Still, people who may have had contact with the animal are being asked to watch for signs of the disease, including swollen lymph nodes, general exhaustion, fever and a telltale rash.

Blood tests are being done on a 20-year-old Trenton-area woman and two wallabies - kangaroo-like animals - after health officials learned at least one wallaby had been purchased from an Illinois exotic animal supplier whose prairie dogs were traced to the first U.S. outbreak of the African disease this month.

As of Friday, 81 cases were under investigation in four states: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. (See www.cdc.gov/ncidod/monkeypox.)

The Butler County hot line is being manned from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. However, because weekend rains caused flooding in Butler County, calls about flooding also are coming into that number, Burg said.

---

E-mail jmorse@enquirer.com




ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
Kids get down and dirty outside
Pulfer: Unexpected gifts

TOP HEADLINES
Flooding recedes, clean-up begins
Despite deluge, area's rainfall below last year
No respite for Butler flood crews
They log on, look out with Web crime cams
Church tosses defiant minister

ACADEMIC ALL-STARS
Hamilton County
Butler County
Warren County
Clermont County
Northern Kentucky
Dearborn County

IN THE TRISTATE
T's wife: 'I hate this area'
Liberty manager gets pay increase
Butler's monkeypox hot line is ringing
Home of Reds to become host for a day of prayer
Former sheriff sued by state
Council favors property tax cut
Decision changes parole system
Schools try to cope with Ohio budget cuts
Suspect in killing no longer a guardian
Traffic snarled, 2 hurt in wreck on Norwood Lateral
Assistant now Badin High School principal
Police give advice with fishing time
Mayor takes heat for budget mess
Portman among Ohio's richest lawmakers
Vandal gets 6 years in prison, tongue-lashing from judge
Tristate A.M. report

KENTUCKY
Board scours community center site
70 lawmakers to visit N.Ky.
Ky. athletes off to Special Olympics
Fort Thomas schools settle complaint case
Road projects may be halted