On June 2, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced a single presumptive monkeypox case in an adult male Chicago resident with recent travel history to Europe, per a press release.
Initial testing was completed June 1 at an IDPH laboratory, and confirmatory testing for monkeypox is pending at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Based on initial epidemiologic characteristics and the positive orthopoxvirus result at IDPH, health officials consider this a probable monkeypox infection.
CDPH and IDPH are working closely with the CDC and the patient's healthcare providers to identify individuals with whom the patient may have been in contact while they were infectious. This contact tracing approach is appropriate given the nature and transmission of the virus. The person did not require hospitalization and is isolating at home in good condition. To protect patient confidentiality, no more details relating to the patient will be disclosed.
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 body fluids, monkeypox sores, items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores (clothing, bedding, etc.), or through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact.
As of June 2, the CDC has reported 19 confirmed cases of orthopox/monkeypox across multiple states including California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/response/2022/index.html . Anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, can spread monkeypox; however, early data from this outbreak suggest that gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men make up a high number of initial cases.
People who have a new or unexplained rash, sores, or symptoms, or have a confirmed exposure should see a healthcare provider, remind them that the virus is circulating in the community, and avoid sex or being intimate with anyone until they have been seen. If a person or their partner has monkeypox, they should follow the treatment and prevention recommendations outlined by their healthcare provider and avoid sex or being intimate with anyone until all sores have healed or have a fresh layer of skin formed.
Suspected cases may present with early flu-like symptoms and progress to lesions that may begin on one site on the body and spread to other parts. Illness could be clinically confused with a sexually transmitted infection like syphilis or herpes, or with varicella zoster virus.
For more about this virus, visit www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/ and chi.gov/monkeypox.