Illinois Daycare Staff, Children Potentially Exposed To Monkeypox After Worker Tests Positive

An Illinois daycare worker tested positive for the monkeypox virus, suggesting that the staff and children at the center could have been potentially exposed to the disease. 

Health officials announced Friday that an adult employee at a daycare in Rantoul, Illinois, near Champaign, had tested positive for monkeypox, prompting health care personnel to screen the staff and children in the facility who might have been potentially exposed. 

“An adult at a daycare center in the Rantoul area has tested positive for a case of monkeypox. Screenings of children and other staff are taking place now, and no additional cases have been found at this time,” Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Sameer Vohra was quoted as saying by Fox News

Local officials deployed all available state, local, and federal resources to assist the families of the children and staff. Pediatricians were sent to help screen the children. Health officials will remain in contact with families in the coming days for additional information and resources. 

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD) administrator Julie Pryde urged people to wash their hands frequently and get vaccinated if they believe they have been exposed to the virus. 

“Monkeypox is not airborne, it is primarily spread through close skin-to-skin contact. But it can also be spread by droplets during prolonged close contact and through contact with items that may have been contaminated such as towels or bedding. It’s a virus and viruses do not discriminate on who they affect,” Pryde said. 

“It’s your usual things that we always say, and the main thing is you always washing your hands really well. If someone has a case, and we know about them then we have very specific instructions on our website on how to isolate safely in the home with other people,” she added. 

Aside from the daycare, the individual who tested positive for monkeypox “also works in a home health care,” so health officials have been in contact with one client affected by the issue, as per ABC News

As of late, the daycare worker is in isolation and monitored by doctors. Officials said he appeared to be doing well. 

The news comes just a day after U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration declared the current monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency in the U.S. 

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