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 associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. Monkeypox, a disease that rarely appears outside Africa, has been identified by European and American health authorities in recent days. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP)

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 Lake 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 in 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.