Chicago public health officials confirm first probable case of monkeypox virus in Illinois

Thu. June 2, 2022 1:08 PM by News Staff

cdc is urging healthcare providers in the u.s. to be alert

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The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), announced Thursday a single presumptive monkeypox case in an adult male Chicago resident with recent travel history to Europe. 

Officials said the case remains isolated and at this time there is no indication there is a great risk of extensive local spread of the virus, as monkeypox does not spread as easily as the COVID-19 virus.

Initial testing was completed Wednesday, and confirmatory testing for monkeypox is pending at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CDPH and IDPH are working closely with the CDC and the patient's health care providers to identify individuals with whom the patient may have been in contact while they were infectious.

The person did not require hospitalization and is isolating at home in good condition.

To protect patient confidentiality, no further details relating to the patient will be disclosed.

Monkeypox cases usually happen in West and Central Africa. But several people have been diagnosed recently in Canada, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

Anyone can get or spread monkeypox, but the CDC last week issued a warning to gay and bisexual men because many of the people affected globally so far are men who identify as gay or bisexual.

Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease, but it can spread through intimate contact during sex when someone has an active rash. It can spread through direct contact with bodily fluids or through contact with contaminated clothes or bed sheets, according to the CDC.

Monkeypox is not easily transmittable, and community spread is currently limited.

Chicago-based LGBTQ health provider Howard Brown Health said in a May 20 press release that it is “closely monitoring for monkeypox in our Chicago communities.”

The release continued, “Howard Brown primary care providers are taking precautions and will be screening patients for monkeypox who present possible symptoms.”

Initial symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, headache, fever, muscle aches and fatigue. The disease then progresses into a rash and lesions that blister and scab over.

Monkeypox patients in the current outbreak have recovered within a month without any specific treatment, according to the CDC. There have been no deaths reported.

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