First likely case of Monkeypox reported in Suburban Cook County – NBC Chicago

The first likely case of monkey pox has been discovered in McHenry County, health officials said Saturday.

The case was identified in an adult who received a positive orthopoxvirus result, the McHenry County Department said in a Facebook post. Health officials worked with the Illinois Department of Public Health to conduct contact tracing and determine who may have been in close contact with the individual.

The latest case follows a rise in infections across the country. A total of 1,814 cases had been confirmed on Saturday, according to the CDC. Illinois itself has reported 174 confirmed infections.

Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that often begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes, and progresses to a rash on the face and body, health experts say. It was first observed in Africa in 1970 and is mostly found in western and central parts of the continent.

The CDC said that “cases include people who self-identify as men who have had sex with men,” but emphasized that anyone can get the disease through prolonged contact.

We’ve already approved vaccines and treatments for monkey pox

Health experts also said the disease could be confused with a sexually transmitted disease such as syphilis or herpes, or with the varicella zoster virus.

Federal health officials are urging doctors in the U.S. to “consider a monkeypox diagnosis in people with a consistent rash, especially if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • Had contact with someone who had a rash similar to monkeypox or someone who was diagnosed with or suspected monkeypox
  • Had skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network who was experiencing monkeypox activity; this includes men having sex with men meeting partners through an online website, digital application (app) or social event (e.g. a bar or party)
  • Traveled outside the US to a country with confirmed cases of monkeypox or where monkeypox activity is ongoing
  • Had contact with a dead or living wild animal or exotic pet native to Africa or used a product derived from such animals (e.g. game meat, creams, lotions, powders, etc.).

The virus is rarely fatal, with symptoms ranging from fever, aches and rashes all over the body.

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