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Employees and children at an Illinois daycare center are being screened for monkeypox after an employee tested positive for the disease, health officials said.
The positive case at a daycare center in Rantoul, Ill., was the third case in Champaign County, prompting health workers to screen people at the facility who may have been exposed.
“An adult at a Rantoul-area daycare center has tested positive for a case of monkeypox,” Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said Friday. “Screenings of children and other staff are currently taking place, and no additional cases have been discovered at this time.”
The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD) has confirmed that no other positive cases have been discovered.
NEW YORK CITY AND ILLINOIS DECLARE A STATE OF EMERGENCY FOR MONKEYPOX
At a press conference on 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.
“Monkey pox is not airborne, it is mainly transmitted by close skin-to-skin contact. But it can also be spread by droplets during prolonged close contact and by contact with objects that may have been contaminated. such as towels or bedding,” Pryde said. . “It’s a virus and viruses don’t discriminate on who they affect.”
“It’s your usual things that we always say, and the main thing is that you always wash your hands very well,” she added. “If anyone has a case, and we know of it, we have very specific instructions on our website about how to safely isolate at home with other people.”
BIDEN ADMINISTRATION DECLARES MONKEYPOX A PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY
“We are looking after anyone who has been exposed. So that would be any of the children who have been potentially exposed, any of the contacts, the family, anyone who has been potentially exposed in this situation is being offered the vaccine,” Pryde also said. .
On Thursday, the Biden administration declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency.
“In light of changing circumstances on the ground, I am declaring a public health emergency on #monkeypox,” Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra wrote in a tweet. “We are ready to take our response to the next level to fight this virus and urge all Americans to take monkeypox seriously.”
Later that same day, President Joe Biden said he would increase vaccine distribution and expand access to testing to detect the virus.
“I remain committed to our response to monkeypox: accelerating vaccine distribution, expanding testing and educating communities at risk,” he tweeted. “That’s why today’s public health emergency declaration on the virus is critical to addressing this outbreak with the urgency it deserves.”
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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.