Champaign County records first likely case of monkeypox

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Photo courtesy of Joe Raedle/Getty Images/TNS

A health care worker prepares to administer a vaccine to a person for the prevention of monkeypox on Tuesday in Wilton Manors, FL. The CUPHD announced a case of monkeypox from an adult male resident on Tuesday.

By Willie Cui, News Editor

On Tuesday, the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District announced a “single presumptive monkeypox case” in an adult male resident of Champaign County who had recently traveled to Chicago.

According to a CUPHD press release, initial testing for monkeypox was completed last Friday at an Illinois Department of Public Health laboratory, and confirmatory testing is currently pending at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“Based on initial epidemiologic characteristics and the positive orthopoxvirus result at IDPH, health officials consider this a probable monkeypox infection,” the press release said. 

The patient did not require hospitalization and is isolating at home, and health officials are working to identify those the patient might have been in contact with while infectious.

“This contact tracing approach is appropriate given the nature and transmission of the virus,” the press release said.

Still, the case remains isolated with “no indication there is a great risk of extensive local spread” at this time since monkeypox does not spread as easily as COVID-19, according to the press release.

Although it is generally spread from person-to-person through contact with bodily fluids, monkeypox can also be spread through face-to-face contact via respiratory droplets and contact with infected animals.

“Monkeypox … typically begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes, and progresses to a rash on the face and body,” the press release said. “Most infections last two to four weeks.”

While anyone can contract and spread monkeypox, early data suggests that “men who have sex with men make up a high number of initial cases,” according to the press release.

For the past few months, the CDC has been monitoring an outbreak of monkeypox in countries that do not usually report cases of monkeypox, which is typically endemic in parts of central and western Africa.

Since the epidemic began in May, several European countries such as the United Kingdom, Spain and Germany have reported outbreaks of monkeypox cases, which now number in the thousands, according to data from the CDC.

The first domestic case was reported on May 18 in Massachusetts when a U.S. resident tested positive for monkeypox after returning from Canada. Since then, the CDC reported 929 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the United States as of July 12.

“People who have a new or unexplained rash, sores, or symptoms, or have a confirmed exposure should see a healthcare provider,” the press release said. “Suspected cases may present with early flu-like symptoms and progress to lesions that may begin on one site on the body and spread to other parts.”

 

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