An Illinois daycare worker tested positive for monkey pox, children, and other potentially exposed personnel

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Employees and children at an Illinois daycare center are tested for monkey pox after an employee tested positive for the disease, health officials said.

The positive case at a preschool in Rantoul, Illinois, was the third case in Champaign County that prompted medical personnel to investigate individuals at the facility who may have been exposed.

“An adult in a preschool in the Rantoul area has tested positive for the monkey pox case,” said Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) director Dr. Sameer Vohra on Friday. “Children and other workers are currently being tested and no additional cases have been found at this time.”

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD) confirmed that no other positive cases were detected.

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During Friday’s press conference, CUPHD administrator Julie Pryde encouraged people to wash their hands regularly and offered the vaccine to those who thought they might be exposed.

“Monkey pox is not transmitted through the air, it is spread mainly through close contact with the skin, but it can also spread by airborne droplets during prolonged close contact and through contact with items that may have become contaminated such as towels or bedding,” said Pryde. . “It’s a virus, and viruses don’t discriminate against who they affect.”

“These are your usual things that we always say, and the most important thing is that you always wash your hands well,” she added. “If someone has a case and we know about it, we have very detailed instructions on our website on how to safely isolate yourself at home with other people.”

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“We do everyone who has been exposed. So that would be every child who was potentially exposed, every contact, every family, everybody who was potentially exposed in this situation, would get the vaccine, ”Pryde also said. .

On Thursday, the Biden administration declared the monkey pox outbreak as a public health emergency.

“In light of the changing circumstances on the ground, I declare a public health emergency in #small pox,” Xavier Becerra, Department of Health and Human Services secretary wrote in a tweet. “We are ready to take our response to the next level in the fight against this virus and urge every American to take monkey pox seriously.”

Later that 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 monkey pox: increasing vaccine distribution, expanding testing, and educating vulnerable communities,” he wrote on Twitter. “Therefore, today’s public health threat declaration on the virus is critical to confronting this epidemic with the urgent need it guarantees.”

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Monkey pox is a particularly rare disease that has infected more than 6,600 Americans. It can cause fever, body aches, chills, fatigue, and pimples on many parts of the body and is spread through prolonged skin contact.

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