Officials: Daycare worker in Central Illinois has monkey pox

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CHAMPAIGN, Illinois (TUSEN) — An employee at a daycare center in central Illinois has developed monkeypox, but it hasn’t spread to others in the center, public health officials said Friday.

The employee of the unidentified nursery in the village of Rantoul was isolated and doing well, officials said. Screening of children, other employees and their close contacts was ongoing, The (Champaign) News-Gazette reported.

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“We hope there are no cases of children,” said Julie Pryde, director of the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District. “But for all we know, the employee may have gotten it from a child.”

The Rantoul case is the first monkeypox case in Illinois linked to a daycare center, said Lauri Sanders, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health. The monkeypox virus spreads through prolonged skin-to-skin contact.

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The Campaign-Urbana Public Health District heard about the case on Thursday. It is the third case of monkeypox to date in Champaign County.

The local agency has enough vaccine to administer to anyone connected to the daycare center who wants it, Pryde said. She said the agency also has access to monkey pox medications, which can cause fever, body aches, chills, fatigue and pimple-like bumps on many parts of the body.

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Rantoul is located 177 kilometers south of Chicago.

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