An adult in an Illinois preschool tested positive for monkey pox, and many children may have been exposed to the virus, Illinois health officials announced Friday.
At that time, officials did not disclose the number of children who may have been exposed to the virus. Children and staff at a kindergarten in the Rantoul, Illinois area near Champaign, are currently being screened, and no additional cases have been detected so far.
“All available state, local and federal resources are being used to help families,” state officials said at a news conference Friday afternoon. “Pediatricians are in place, we say, to screen children for cases and carry out mobile testing and vaccines for their families. Health officials will continue to stay in touch with families and provide information and resources in the days to come. “
The kindergarten has been cleaned and is still open, officials said.
“People who have been exposed potentially do not need to be quarantined, so they are screened and assessed. Anyone who has the slightest suspicion we will put them in isolation pending any results, but they have cleaning tips, and they’ve probably done a lot more than necessary, ”officials said.
A person with monkey pox “also works in home health care,” and health officials have contacted one customer who has been affected by the disease.
“A person with monkey pox is isolated, medically monitored, and doing well,” officials added.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disease typically spreads through prolonged skin-to-skin contact with infected lesions or body fluids. In addition to changes that may look like pimples or blisters, the most common symptoms associated with monkey pox are swollen glands, fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches.
Officials said Illinois Governor JB Pritzker had been in contact with the White House, and at the state’s request, “The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the vaccine to be used by anyone under the age of 18 without skipping the normal obstacles in the process. “
“This means anyone with a guardian’s consent will be vaccinated today,” officials said.
ABC News has asked the FDA and the White House to clarify whether formal authorization has been given for children to receive the JYNNEOS vaccine.
The FDA on Tuesday confirmed ABC News that “numerous” children have been granted access through a special licensing process that operates on an individual basis.
If your doctor determines that a person under the age of 18 has been at risk of monkey pox, and the benefits of the vaccine outweigh any possible risks, they can submit an application to the FDA. In a statement, the FDA said many of these applications had been approved, but did not say exactly how many.
During this time, most cases of monkey pox confirmed nationally and internationally in the current epidemic have been detected in gays, bisexuals, or other men who have sex with men. However, health officials have repeatedly emphasized that the virus is non-discriminatory and that anyone exposed to monkey pox could contract the virus.
At least five children in the U.S. are now positive for monkey pox, according to state and local authorities across the country.
On Thursday, the Biden administration announced that the current monkey pox epidemic is a public health emergency in the U.S.
Worldwide, more than 28,000 cases of monkey pox have been confirmed in 88 countries, including 7,500 cases reported domestically.