Illinois daycare worker tests positive for monkeypox, children and other staff potentially exposed

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Employees and children at an Illinois daycare center are being screened for monkey pox after an employee tested positive for the disease, health officials said.

The positive case at a daycare center in Rantoul, Illinois, was the third case in Champaign County, requiring healthcare personnel to screen individuals at the facility who may have been exposed.

“An adult at a nursery in the Rantoul area has tested positive for a case of monkey pox,” said Dr. Sameer Vohra, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). “Screens of children and other personnel are now taking place and no additional cases have been found at this time.”

The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD) confirmed no other positive cases had been detected.


At a press conference Friday, CUPHD administrator Julie Pryde encouraged people to wash their hands regularly and offered a vaccine to those who believe they may have been exposed.

“Monkeypox is not airborne. It is mainly spread through close skin-to-skin contact, but it can also be spread by droplets during prolonged close contact and through contact with items that may be contaminated, such as towels or bedding,” said Pryde . “It’s a virus and viruses don’t discriminate on who they affect.”

“It’s your usual things we always say, and the most important thing is that you always wash your hands really well,” she added. “If someone has a case and we know about it, we have very specific instructions on our website about how to isolate safely with other people in their home.”


“We’re doing everyone who’s been exposed. So that’s all the kids who may have been exposed, all the contacts, family, everyone who may have been exposed in this situation will be offered the vaccine,” Pryde also said. .

On Thursday, the Biden administration declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency.

“In light of evolving conditions on the ground, I declare a public health emergency on #monkeypox,” Xavier Becerra, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, wrote in a tweet. “We are ready to take our response to the next level in tackling this virus and we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously.”

Later that same day, President Joe Biden said he would increase vaccine distribution and expand access to tests to detect the virus.

“I remain committed to our response to monkeypox: ramping up vaccine distribution, expanding testing and educating communities at risk,” he tweeted. “That’s why today’s emergency statement on the virus is critical to confronting this outbreak with the urgency it justifies.”


Monkeypox is a particularly rare disease that has infected more than 6,600 Americans. It can cause fever, body aches, chills, fatigue, and pimple-like bumps on many parts of the body and is spread through prolonged skin-to-skin contact.

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