After the first probable case of monkeypox was reported in McHenry County earlier this month, health officials said Friday that a CDC lab has confirmed the resident is positive for the infection.
The McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) said on July 16 they identified a single probable case of the monkeypox virus infection in an adult who met initial criteria for the disease and had a positive orthopoxvirus result.
Confirmatory testing was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the test came back positive for the virus.
The infected individual is fully cooperating and was isolating per MCDH guidance, the department said.
The MCDH said they were working with the Illinois Department of Public Health to conduct contact tracing to identify others who may have been in close contact with the individual while they were infectious.
Contacts were offered post-exposure vaccination and will be monitored for 21 days for symptoms.
The MCDH said Friday they have not identified additional cases in McHenry County yet but they are monitoring for them.
“Monkeypox is not a new virus, but it is not common in the United States,” said Susan Karras, Director of Public Health Nursing.
“The risk is low, but anyone can become infected with monkeypox regardless of age, gender, race or sexual orientation. Early identification, treatment, and post exposure vaccination of close contacts will help in reducing further spread,” Karras said.
The risk is low to residents of McHenry County. Officials encourage individuals to seek medical attention for any symptoms.
Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, a rash that looks like pimples or blisters, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.
Monkeypox can be transmitted to anyone through direct contact with body fluids and through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact.
Monkeypox is contagious and can spread to others until scabs have fallen off and a new layer of skin has formed, officials said.
There have been 4,907 confirmed cases of monkeypox virus so far this year in United States residents, with 396 cases occurring in Illinois, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.