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Central Illinois day care worker has monkeypox, officials say

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. >> A central Illinois day care worker has developed monkeypox but it has not spread to others at the center, public health officials said Friday.

The worker at the unidentified day care in the village of Rantoul was in isolation and doing well, officials said. Screening of children, other workers and their close contacts was underway, The (Champaign) News-Gazette reported.

“We hope there are no kid cases,” said Julie Pryde, director of the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District. “But for all we know, the employee could have gotten it from a kid.”

The Rantoul case is Illinois’ first monkeypox case linked to a day care, Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Lauri Sanders said. The monkeypox virus spreads through prolonged skin-to-skin contact.

The Campaign-Urbana Public Health District learned of the case Thursday. It’s the third monkeypox case so far in Champaign County.

The local agency has enough vaccine to administer to anyone connected to the day care center who wants it, Pryde said. She said the agency also has access to medication for monkeypox, which may cause fever, body aches, chills, fatigue and pimple-like bumps on many parts of the body.

Rantoul is 110 miles (177 kilometers) south of Chicago.

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