The first possible case of smallpox was reported in DuPage County, health officials said Friday, the third in Illinois.
The DuPage County Department of Health said the incident was found in a man who had been on an international trip for the past month who had recently been diagnosed with a monkey smallpox infection.
The initial testing was completed by the Illinois Department of Health and is now undergoing confirmatory testing at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Based on the initial epidemiological characteristics and the positive outcome of the orthopoxvirus in IDPH, health officials believe that this may be a monkey smallpox infection,” the DCHD said in a statement.
Health officials said the case remained isolated and that there was no risk of spreading “because monkeys do not spread as easily as the COVID-19 virus.”
The latest case of health workers in the United States and several other countries was reported on Thursday.
Chickenpox is a rare but serious viral illness that often begins with flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph nodes that turn into rashes on the face and body, say health experts. It was first observed in Africa in 1970 and is most common in the western and central parts of the continent.
Cases of the CDC virus have been reported in several countries, usually in the United States, after the monkeys did not report the disease.
As of Friday, the CDC reported 49 confirmed cases in several states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah and Virginia. .
“Typically, in a typical year, we see a number of animal-related cases in West Africa,” said Dr. Chicago Public Health Commissioner. Ellison Arvadi said. “There are animals that can carry it, and we know, we see a few dozen cases where people are infected just by contact with animals. The reason it’s getting more attention is that there was somewhere between them at this point. “
The virus comes from the same family as smallpox, and the World Health Organization has urged people to be vigilant after nearly 200 confirmed or suspected cases have been reported in 12 Western countries. Officials say most of these cases have occurred in Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom.
“What makes it a little different is the number of cases and the countries that have been affected,” he said. Irfan Hafiz of McHenry and Huntley Hospitals of Northwest Medicine said.
The CDC said “cases include people who identify themselves as having sex with men,” but stressed that anyone can be infected through prolonged contact.
We have vaccines and medicines against smallpox
According to Hafiz, an infectious disease specialist, the virus causes several illnesses, including smallpox or smallpox-like symptoms.
“It may look like smallpox or warts to the average person,” he said. “But these (wounds) are in the open.”
Health officials also said the disease could be confused with a sexually transmitted infection such as syphilis or herpes or the varicella zoster virus.
Federal health officials are urging doctors in the United States to “review the diagnosis of monkey disease in people with persistent rash, especially if they meet one of the following criteria:
- The monkey had contact with a person who had smallpox-like rashes or who had a confirmed or probable diagnosis of smallpox.
- The monkey had skin-to-skin contact with someone on the social network who had smallpox; This includes men who have sex with men who have met their partners through an online website, digital application (app) or social event (such as a bar or party).
- Outside the United States, monkeys travel to a country where smallpox has been confirmed or where monkeys are still active.
- Only in Africa have any contact with dead or live wild animals or exotic pets, or the use of products derived from such animals (e.g., game meat, creams, lotions, powders, etc.).
The virus is rarely fatal, the symptoms are fever, pain and rash all over the body.
“Suspicious cases may be accompanied by the first signs of the flu, starting in one part of the body and spreading to other parts,” the Chicago Department of Health said.
Human-to-human transmission of CDPH “monkeys said that smallpox can be caused by inhalation through contact with droplets, fluids or contaminated items (clothing, bedding, etc.) or prolonged face-to-face contact.”
“It’s not just an accidental handshake,” Hafiz said. “(Must have contact) Longer, clearer. It’s not technically a sexually transmitted disease, but it involves close contact.”
“It takes a long (communication), not a few minutes,” said NBC News Medical Contributor Dr. Cavita Patel added. “(May also include) body fluids or sores.”
According to the CDPH, infections usually last two to four weeks.
Health officials told a health care provider that they had “new or unexplained rashes, sores or symptoms or confirmed exposure” and “should not have sexual intercourse or have close contact with anyone until they are seen.”