Monkeypox in Illinois: A Chicago man who recently traveled to Europe is the state’s first probable case

CHICAGO (WLS) – Chicago and Illinois public health officials have confirmed the first probable case of monkeypox in the state in an adult Chicago male who recently traveled to Europe.

An initial test at an IDPH lab returned positive for orthopoxvirus, and confirmatory testing is pending at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Public health officials are conducting contact tracing to identify people who may have come into contact with the patient while he was infectious.

“The case remains isolated and at this time there is no indication that there is a great risk of widespread local spread of the virus, as monkeypox does not spread as easily as the COVID-19 virus,” officials wrote Thursday. public health in a press release.

RELATED: US is releasing monkeypox vaccine from national stockpile for ‘high risk’ people: CDC

Last week, the World Health Organization said 23 countries that had never had monkeypox had now reported more than 250 cases. On Monday, the UK announced a further 71 cases of monkeypox.

Monkeypox has been known to spread when there is close physical contact with an infected person, their clothes, or their bedding.

Most patients with monkeypox only experience fever, body aches, chills, and fatigue. People with more severe illness may develop a rash and sores on the face and hands that may spread to other parts of the body. No deaths have been reported in the current outbreak beyond Africa.

Monkeypox is related to smallpox, but has milder symptoms. After smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980, countries suspended mass vaccination programs, a move some experts say could contribute to the spread of monkeypox, as there is now low generalized immunity against it. related diseases. Smallpox vaccines also protect against monkeypox.

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