First probable case of monkeypox reported in suburban Cook County


CHICAGO (CBS) — The first presumptive case of monkeypox has been reported in Cook County. 

The Cook County Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced the case Saturday after a resident of suburban Cook County showed symptoms and texted positive for orthopoxvirus. Monkeypox is in the orthopox family of viruses, and confirmatory testing for monkeypox is pending at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to CCDPH, the case is isolated and any close contacts are being identified and will be offered post-exposure vaccination. 

Monkeypox does not spread easily between people and its incubation period gives health officials time to track down contacts and break the chain of infection, CCDPH said in a statement. 

“The risk to residents of suburban Cook County remains low, but we want individuals to be aware of the signs and symptoms of monkeypox so that they seek medical care if they develop,” said Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, CCDPH Chief Operating Officer. “CCDPH is actively tracking all the contacts of this case to make them aware of their risk and reduce possible transmission.” 

Monkeypox is a rare, but potentially serious, viral illness. Infection typically begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a rash on the face and body, officials said. 

At least seven cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in the City of Chicago so far. 

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