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Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. The monkeypox virus is an Orthopoxvirus genus, the same family of viruses as smallpox. Monkeypox is typically less severe than smallpox and is rarely fatal.
Monkeypox is usually found in animals in West and Central Africa. It can be transmitted to humans through travel or exposure with respiratory droplets or contact with infected skin lesions or contaminated materials of animals or people with the disease.
Multiple cases of monkeypox were identified in countries where monkeypox was not known to be endemic starting in May 2022. In June 2022, the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed the first case of monkeypox in Illinois. As of July 6, 2022, there were 84 confirmed and probable cases of monkeypox in Illinois.
Symptoms typically start between 6-13 days after being infected, but can range from 5-21 days. Symptoms of monkeypox can include:
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
People may or may not get other symptoms in addition to the rash. The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. You are no longer infectious when the lesions have scabbed, the scabs have fallen off and new skin has formed.
The following steps can be taken to prevent getting monkeypox:
- Avoid close, skin to skin contact with the monkeypox rash.
- Do not touch the rash or scabs of person with monkeypox.
- Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
- Do not share eating utensils or cups.
- Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a sick person.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after contact with sick people.
- In Central and West Africa, avoid contact with animals that can spread monkeypox virus, usually rodents and primates. Also, avoid sick or dead animals, as well as bedding or other materials they have touched.
A person who is sick with monkeypox should isolate at home. If they have an active rash or other symptoms, they should be in a separate room or area from other family members and pets when possible.
Monkeypox is rare and does not spread easily between people without close contact. The threat of monkeypox to the general U.S. population remains LOW.
What to Do If You Are Symptomatic or Have Been Exposed
If you have recently been in contact with someone who is ill with similar symptoms or are currently experiencing similar symptoms, make an appointment with your healthcare provider and avoid contact with others.
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Clinicians should immediately report any suspect cases, who are residents of Kane County, to the Kane County Health Department (during or after work hours) at 630-208-3801 and take appropriate infection control precautions.
Clinicians will need to consult with the Kane County Health Department regarding approval for testing at IDPH labs. However,
commercial testing is now available through
Resources for Healthcare Providers
The Jynneos vaccine for monkeypox is available at multiple locations in Kane County. You may contact the following healthcare providers to schedule a vaccination appointment. Please note that Greater Family Health and VNA both require you to be a current client.
- VNA Health Care
Greater Family Health (Elgin) | 844-599-3700
- Open Door Health Center (Aurora/Elgin) | 630-264-1819