An Illinois day-care worker has tested positive for monkeypox, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced Friday, but no other cases have been reported there.
“An adult at a day-care center in the Rantoul area has tested positive for a case of monkeypox,” department Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said at a news briefing. “Screening of children and other staff is taking place now.”
Officials did not say how many children might have been exposed to the virus. The worker is in isolation and is “doing well.” The day-care center has also been cleaned.
Vohra said the US Food and Drug Administration has made the monkeypox vaccine available for the children “without jumping through the normal hoops in this process,” so parents of children exposed to the virus can get their kids vaccinated.
“Pediatricians are on-site as we speak to screen children for cases, and there are mobile testing and vaccines for their families,” he said.
The day-care worker also works in home health care, and public health officials are in contact with an affected client.
Public health officials asked parents to let disease investigators contact them if their child is affected.
“If your child has had the potential of being exposed to this outbreak, you will receive a call from the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District. You do not need to call day-care centers. You do not need to call public health. You will be contacted,” said Julie Pryde, administrator of the district.
Monkeypox spreads primarily through extended skin-on-skin contact or through contact with contaminated items.
Some cases in the United States have been reported in women and children in the ongoing outbreak, but the virus has been predominantly found in gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men.
There are more than 7,500 probable or confirmed monkeypox cases in the United States as of Friday afternoon, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.