DCHD Reports Four More Cases of Monkeypox in DuPage County1

DCHD Reports Four More Cases of Monkeypox in DuPage County

July 26, 2022
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The DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) says four more cases of monkeypox have been identified in DuPage County. That makes five cases total found within the county since early June.

The DCHD says it is working with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the patients’ healthcare providers to coordinate treatment.

Symptoms

Monkeypox spreads through close, intimate contact with someone with the disease, and is not as easily transmittable as COVID-19 according to the DCHD. Currently the DCHD says there is not a risk of extensive local spread. But those with symptoms should self isolate and notify their healthcare provider. Symptoms are often flu-like, and can include fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, muscle aches and backache. The disease also often presents with a rash on the face, inside the mouth or on other parts of the body that looks like pimples or blisters. Those symptoms usually pop up within three weeks of being exposed.

Vaccination Eligibility

The DCHD says it is working to notify any contacts of those with current cases. Depending on exposure risk, they may be eligible for vaccination. The DCHD has limited doses of the JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccine. At the end of June, the State of Illinois received an allocation of vaccines as part of the federal response to the recent outbreak across the United States. Those eligible for vaccination include those identified as a contact of someone with the virus, those aware that one of their sexual partners in the past two weeks was diagnosed with monkeypox, and those who have had multiple sexual partners in the past two weeks in an area with known monkeypox. Anyone who meets these conditions should contact their healthcare provider.

Prevention

To help prevent the disease, individuals should avoid skin-to-skin contact with anyone who has a rash resembling monkeypox. They should also avoid sharing eating utensils or drinkware with someone with monkeypox, avoid touching that person’s bedding, towels or clothing, and wash hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

The DCHD says this current outbreak is largely affecting gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men. However, the health department notes that anyone can get the disease and reminds the public to watch for symptoms, particularly any unexplained rash.

Public Health Emergency

On Saturday, July 23, the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a public health emergency of global concern. The disease is rare, but potentially serious. It’s caused by an infection of the monkeypox virus, which is within the same family of the virus that causes smallpox. The first U.S. case was confirmed on May 18.

Naperville News 17’s Kim Pirc reports.

photo courtesy: FILE image from CDC

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