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First probable Illinois case of monkeypox reported in Chicago

First probable Illinois case of monkeypox reported in Chicago
First probable Illinois case of monkeypox reported in Chicago 02:31

CHICAGO (CBS) -- City and state public health officials are investigating the first probable case of monkeypox in Chicago.

In a joint statement, the Chicago Department of Public Health and Illinois Department of Public Health announced a presumptive case of monkeypox in a Chicago man who had recently traveled to Europe.

After initial testing was completed at a state lab on Wednesday, officials are waiting for confirmation of those test results from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Based on initial epidemiologic characteristics and the positive orthopoxvirus result at IDPH, health officials consider this a probable monkeypox infection," CDPH and IDPH said in a press release.

If confirmed, it would be the first case of monkeypox in Illinois.

Public health officials said they are working with the CDC and the patient's doctors to identify anyone he might have been in contact with while he was infectious.

The man did not need to go to a hospital, and is isolating at home in good condition, officials said.

"The case remains isolated and at this time there is no indication there is a great risk of extensive local spread of the virus, as monkeypox does not spread as easily as the COVID-19 virus. Person to person transmission is possible through close physical contact with monkeypox sores, items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores (clothing, bedding, etc.), or through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact," CDPH and IDPH said.

Monkeypox is usually found in Africa, and rare cases in the U.S. and elsewhere are frequently linked to trips there. It can be spread through bites or scratches from infected animals, from preparing wild game, or from having contact with an infected animal or animal products.

The first confirmed case of Monkeypox in the U.S. this year was reported in Massachusetts last month.

As of Thursday, the CDC has confirmed 19 cases of monkeypox in the U.S. this year, including in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.

The United States identified two cases of monkeypox in 2021, in Texas and Maryland, from people who'd recently gone to Nigeria.

For more about this virus, visit and

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