CHAMPAIGN — An adult employee at a daycare facility in Rantoul has come down with monkeypox. The “patient is doing well and the case poses little risk to general public,” the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District announced on Friday. They’re currently investigating the case.
According to The News-Gazette, it’s the state’s first case of monkeypox at a daycare center.
So far, the Public Health District hasn’t identified any other adults or children with monkeypox at the facility. But officials said they’re continuing to screen them, and they’re contacting families of the children.
The daycare is still open, but has been thoroughly cleaned. Officials said they’re financially supporting those that need to quarantine.
Sameer Vohra, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said they’re working directly with the Biden administration and Governor Pritzker to distribute vaccines to impacted people over 6 months old.
“We are happy to report that President Biden’s staff has been incredibly responsive. We are pleased that at our request, the FDA has authorized the vaccine for anyone under 18 without jumping through the normal hoops. That means anyone with their guardian’s approval will be vaccinated today,” Vohra said.
Monkeypox spreads through close contact like kissing, touching sores, or living in the same household as an infected person. The infection often starts with flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph nodes, and progresses into rashes on the face and body.
The first confirmed monkeypox in Champaign County was on July 12.
The virus is rarely fatal and no one has died from monkeypox so far in the United States, according to health officials.
Julie Pryde, administrator at the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, said handwashing is the best solution, besides vaccination.
Pryde said it’s important to “fight fear with facts.”
Harrison Malkin is a reporter for Illinois Public Media. Follow him @HarrisonMalkin