Lake County resident tests positive for monkeypox, health officials announce

  • This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin.

    This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin. Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, File

 
 
Updated 6/29/2022 1:56 PM

A Lake County resident has what is likely the county's first case of monkeypox, health officials announced Wednesday.

The person was tested by a state lab on Monday, and the results indicate a probable infection, according to the county health department.

 

County and state health officials are working with the person and their doctors to conduct contact tracing and identify any others who may have been recent contact with the person.

State and local health officials announced suburban Cook County's first probable case of monkeypox Saturday.

Monkeypox does not spread easily between people and the risk to Lake County residents remains low, officials stressed Wednesday. Person-to-person transmission is possible through close physical contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores -- such as clothing or bedding, -- or through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact.

Dr. Sana Ahmed, medical epidemiologist at the Lake County Health Department, said monkeypox infections typically begin with flu-like symptoms. Some may get a rash followed by other symptoms, such as a fever, headache, chills and body aches, and others may only get a rash.

"Individuals should be aware of how the virus spreads and the signs and symptoms of monkeypox in order to seek medical attention if they develop," Ahmed said.

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Monkeypox cases began emerging last month in Europe and the U.S. Many -- but not all -- of those who contracted the virus had traveled internationally. Most were men who have sex with men, but health officials stress that anyone can get the viral illness

As of Tuesday, the U.S. had identified 306 cases in 27 states and the District of Columbia. More than 4,700 cases have been found in more than 40 other countries outside the areas of Africa, where the virus is endemic.

There are vaccines for monkeypox and U.S. health officials on Tuesday expanded the pool of people who should get vaccinated to include those who may realize on their own that they could have been infected. That includes men who have recently had sex with men at parties or in other gatherings in cities where monkeypox cases have been identified.

There have been no U.S. deaths so far.

• Daily Herald wire services contributed to this report

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