Illinois has first probable monkeypox case; found in Chicago man

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)

Illinois has its first probable case of monkeypox in an adult male from Chicago with recent travel history to Europe.

Testing was completed Wednesday at an IDPH laboratory, and confirmatory testing for monkeypox is pending at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to an Illinois Department of Public Health news release.

“Based on initial epidemiologic characteristics and the positive orthopoxvirus result at IDPH, health officials consider this a probable monkeypox infection,” according to the news release.

The Chicago man did not require hospitalization and is resting at home “in good condition” according to the news release.

Monkeypox is a rare, but potentially serious viral illness, which belongs to the Orthopoxvirus family, and typically begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes. It progresses to a rash on the face and body. Most infections last 2 to 4 weeks.

Monkeypox is typically endemic to parts of central and west Africa, and people can be exposed through bites or scratches from rodents and small mammals, preparing wild game or having contact with an infected animal or possibly animal products.

Beginning in 2022, multiple cases of monkeypox have been reported in several countries that do not normally report monkeypox, including the United States. As of June 2, the CDC reports 19 confirmed cases of orthopox/monkeypox across multiple states including California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, Utah, Virginia and Washington.

People who have a new or unexplained rash, sores, or symptoms, or have a confirmed exposure should see a healthcare provider, remind them that the virus is circulating in the community, and avoid sex or being intimate with anyone until they have been seen. If a person or their partner has monkeypox, they should follow the treatment and prevention recommendations outlined by their healthcare provider and avoid sex or being intimate with anyone until all sores have healed or have a fresh layer of skin formed.

John Sahly

John Sahly

John Sahly is the digital editor for the Shaw Media Local News Network. He has been with Shaw Media since 2008, previously serving as the Northwest Herald's digital editor, and the Daily Chronicle sports editor and sports reporter.