The DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) is investigating a single case of monkeypox virus infection in an adult male with international travel in the past month to a country which has also reported monkeypox cases recently.

Initial testing was completed on June 10 at an Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Laboratory. Confirmatory testing is pending at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Based on initial epidemiologic characteristics and the positive orthopox virus result at IDPH, health officials consider this a probable monkeypox infection.

The DCHD and IDPH are working closely with the CDC, the patient, and the patient’s health care providers to identify individuals with whom the patient may have been in contact while they were infectious. This contact tracing approach is appropriate given the nature and transmission of the virus, and to coordinate timely risk assessment and appropriate post-exposure response.

At this time, DCHD has not identified any additional cases in the county. To protect patient confidentiality, no further details relating to the patient will be disclosed.

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. Person-to-person transmission is possible through close physical contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores (clothing, bedding, etc.), or through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact.

Since Saturday, May 14, clusters of monkeypox cases have been reported in several countries that don’t normally have monkeypox. On Friday, May 20, the CDC issued a Health Advisory regarding recent cases in the United States. As of Friday, June 10, the CDC reports 49 confirmed cases of orthopox/monkeypox across 16 states, including Illinois.

More about monkeypox

Monkeypox is a rare, but potentially serious viral illness, which belongs to the Orthopox virus family, and typically begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a rash on the face and body. Most infections last 2 to 4 weeks.

Monkeypox is typically endemic to parts of central and west Africa, and people can be exposed through bites or scratches from rodents and small mammals, preparing wild game, or having contact with an infected animal or possibly animal products. It’s not clear how the people were exposed to monkeypox, but early data suggest that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up a high number of cases.

However, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk. Public health officials are urging healthcare providers in the U.S. to be alert for patients who have rash illnesses consistent with monkeypox, regardless of whether they have travel or specific risk factors for monkeypox and regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

When to seek a healthcare provider

Anyone with a rash that looks like monkeypox should talk to their healthcare provider, even if they don’t think they had contact with someone who has monkeypox. People who may be at higher risk might include but are not limited to those who:

1. Had contact with someone who had a rash that looks like monkeypox or someone who was diagnosed with confirmed or probable monkeypox;

2. Had skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity, this includes men who have sex with men who meet partners through an online website, digital application (“app”), or social event (e.g., a bar or party);

3. Traveled outside the U.S. to a country with confirmed cases of monkeypox or where monkeypox activity has been ongoing;

4. Had contact with a dead or live wild animal or exotic pet that exists only in Africa or used a product derived from such animals (e.g., game meat, creams, lotions, powders, etc.).

For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/

 

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