The St. Clair County Health Department is reporting the county’s first probable case of monkeypox. This comes a few days after the City of St. Louis reported its first probable case of the virus.
The health department said it is waiting on confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is likely that this case is associated with domestic travel, the department said in a release.
The individual had minimal contact with the public and any close contacts have been notified. The department said it has not identified any additional cases in the county.
“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,” the department said in the release.
As of June 30, there were 46 probable cases of monkeypox reported in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The monkeypox virus belongs to the same family of viruses as smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms but milder. The virus is rarely fatal.
Monkeypox can be transmitted through person-to-person contact, items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores or through respiratory droplets from prolonged face-to-face contact.
Symptoms of monkeypox include:
Muscle aches and backache
Swollen lymph nodes
A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.
For more information on the monkeypox virus, visit the CDC's website.