An Illinois daycare worker has tested positive for monkey pox, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced Friday, but no other cases have been reported.
“An adult at a daycare center in the Rantoul area has tested positive for a case of monkey pox,” said department director Dr. Sameer Vohra during a press conference. “Screening of children and other personnel is now taking place.”
Officials did not say how many children may have been exposed to the virus. The employee is in isolation and is doing ‘well’. The nursery has also been cleaned.
Vohra said the US Food and Drug Administration has made the monkeypox vaccine available to the children “without jumping through the normal hoops in this process” so that parents of children exposed to the virus can have their children vaccinated.
“Pediatricians are on the scene as we talk to screen children for cases, and there are cell tests and vaccines for their families,” he said.
The day nurse also works in home health care and public health officials interact with an affected client.
Public health officials asked parents to contact disease researchers if their child is affected.
“If your child has had the potential to be exposed to this outbreak, you will receive a call from the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District. You don’t have to call nurseries. You don’t have to call public health. You will be contacted,” said Julie Pryde, district administrator.
Monkeypox spreads mainly through prolonged skin-to-skin contact or through contact with contaminated items.
Some cases in the United States have been reported in women and children during the ongoing outbreak, but the virus has been found primarily in gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men.
As of Friday afternoon, there are more than 7,500 possible or confirmed cases of monkeypox in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.