Adult at Illinois daycare tests positive for monkeypox, children potentially exposed

An adult at an Illinois daycare center has tested positive for monkeypox, and multiple children may have been exposed to the virus, health officials in Illinois announced Friday.

At this time, officials did not disclose the number of children who may have been exposed to the virus. Evaluation of the children and staff at the daycare, which is located in the Rantoul area of ​​Illinois near Champaign, is currently ongoing, and no additional cases have been discovered so far.

“All available state, local and federal resources are being deployed to help families,” state officials said during a news conference Friday afternoon. “Pediatricians are on site, as we speak, to screen children for cases and are conducting mobile testing and immunizations for their families. Health officials will continue to be in contact with families and provide information and resources in the coming days.” “.

The daycare has been cleaned and is still open, officials said.

“People who have been exposed, potentially, don’t need to be in quarantine, so they’re being tested and tested. Anyone who has even a small suspicion, we’ll put them in isolation pending any kind of results, but they have the guidance.” for cleanup and have probably done a lot more than is necessary,” officials said.

PHOTO: This 2003 electron microscope image provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows oval-shaped mature monkeypox virions on the left and spherical immature virions on the right.

This 2003 electron microscope image provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows oval-shaped mature monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a human skin sample. associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak.

CDC via AP, File

The individual with monkeypox “also works in a home health care facility” and health officials have been in contact with the only client who has been affected.

“The person with monkeypox is in isolation, is being medically monitored and is doing well,” officials added.

The disease is usually spread through prolonged skin-to-skin contact with lesions or bodily fluids of infected people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Besides the lesions, which can appear as pimples or blisters, the most common symptoms associated with monkeypox are swollen lymph nodes, fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches.

Officials reported that Illinois Governor JB Pritzker had contacted the White House and, at the state’s request, “the Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of the vaccine for anyone under the age of 18, bypassing the normal hoops in this process.”

“That means anyone with their guardian’s approval will be vaccinated today,” officials said.

ABC News has reached out to the FDA and the White House to clarify whether a formal authorization has been made for children to receive the JYNNEOS vaccine.

On Tuesday, the FDA confirmed to ABC News that “numerous” children have been granted access through a special permit process that operates on a case-by-case basis.

If a doctor decides that a person under the age of 18 has been exposed to monkeypox and that the benefit of the vaccine outweighs any potential risk, he or she can file an application with the FDA. In a statement, the FDA said numerous such requests have been granted, but did not say exactly how many.

At this time, the majority of nationally and globally confirmed cases of monkeypox in the current outbreak have been detected in gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men. However, health officials have repeatedly emphasized that the virus does not discriminate and that anyone exposed to monkeypox can contract the virus.

At least five children in the US now have monkeypox, according to state and local officials across the country.

On Thursday, the Biden administration declared the ongoing monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency in the US.

Globally, more than 28,000 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in 88 countries, including 7,500 cases reported nationally.

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