An unnamed central Illinois daycare worker was confirmed to have monkeypox in the Rantoul area on August 4. As reported by the Champaign News-Gazette, public health officials have begun screening children for the virus, which has thankfully turned up negative so far.
The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Director Julie Pryde said, “We hope there are no kid cases. But for all we know, the employee could have gotten it from a kid.” Pryde continued to describe the process of testing the kids, “[Any kids who] may have been exposed will be checked for symptoms, including the telltale monkeypox rash and administered a swab test.”
After that, the tested person has to be in isolation until the results are concluded. Then the child will be released if the swab comes back negative.
The combination of the visual and oral tests serves to diagnose monkeypox as quickly as possible.
A spokesperson from the Health Department said it’s only the third case in the county despite the contagious nature of the virus being able to spread through skin-to-skin contact. Officials confirmed and continued to affirm that “there isn’t a high risk of extensive local spread of monkeypox, since it doesn’t spread as easily as COVID-19,”
The local health agency continued to offer vaccines to all those connected to the incident despite the shortage of vaccines across the country.
According to the CDC, on August 4, the U.S. The Department of Health and Human Services declared the recent monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency.
Monkeypox is not an airborne virus, but it can spread through respiratory droplets from extended close face-to-face contact between an uninfected individual and an infected person.
“Anyone with new or unexplained rash, sores or symptoms or who has had a confirmed exposure to monkeypox should see a health care provider and avoid intimate contact with anyone until then,” health officials suggested.