The Evanston Health and Human Services Department announced the first reported probable case of monkeypox in an Evanston resident Tuesday.
The case is pending confirmatory testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and HHS reported the case is isolated and only one close contact has been identified.
“The risk to Evanston residents remains low, but we want individuals to be aware of the signs and symptoms of monkeypox so that they seek medical care if they develop,” Health & Human Services Director Ike Ogbo said.
Monkeypox is a rare viral illness that begins with flu-like symptoms and progresses to a rash across the body. Most infections last two to four weeks and transmission primarily occurs through close physical contact with bodily fluids and other contaminated surfaces.
More than 300 cases have been identified in the U.S. since the global outbreak began in May. On Saturday, the World Health Organization said monkeypox is not currently a public health emergency of international concern.
Illinois has reported the third-most number of cases in the country, after New York and California. Chicago alone has confirmed 42 cases, Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said earlier this week in an update to Chicago’s City Council health committee.
There is currently one monkeypox vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration: the Jynneos vaccine. On Tuesday, the Biden administration announced plans to increase vaccine access to areas with the highest case rates. The CDC recommends vaccination only to those at heightened risk.
While most cases of monkeypox in the US have been spreading between men who have sex with men, monkeypox can spread among people of all gender identities and sexual orientations.
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