An adult at an Illinois daycare center has tested positive for monkey pox and several children may have been exposed to the virus, Illinois health officials said Friday.
At this time, officials have not disclosed how many children may have been exposed to the virus. Screening of children and staff at the daycare center, which is located in the Rantoul area of Illinois, near Champaign, is currently underway, and no additional cases have been detected so far.
“All available state, local and federal resources are being used to help families,” state officials said at a news conference Friday afternoon. “Pediatricians are currently on site to screen children for cases and are testing cellphones and vaccines for their families. Health officials will continue to communicate with families and provide information and resources in the coming days.”
The nursery has been cleaned and is still open, officials said.
“The people who may have been exposed don’t need to be quarantined, so they’re being screened and assessed. Anyone with the slightest suspicion, we’ll put them in isolation pending any results, but they’ve got the guidelines for it.” cleaning and they have probably done that much more than necessary,” officials said.
The person with monkey pox “also works in a home care facility,” and health officials have been in contact with the only client affected.
“The person with monkeypox has been isolated, is being medically monitored and is doing well,” officials added.
The disease is most commonly spread through prolonged skin-to-skin contact with the lesions or body fluids of infected people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to lesions, which may look like pimples or blisters, the most common symptoms associated with monkey pox are swollen lymph nodes, fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches.
Officials reported that Illinois Governor JB Pritzker had been in contact with the White House, and at the request of the state, “The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of the vaccine for anyone under the age of 18, without jumping through the normal hoops.”
“That means everyone with their guardian’s approval will be vaccinated today,” officials said.
ABC News has reached out to the FDA and the White House to clarify whether a formal authorization has been given to children to receive the JYNNEOS vaccine.
On Tuesday, the FDA confirmed to ABC News that “numerous” children have been granted access through a special consent process that works on a case-by-case basis.
If a doctor decides that a person under the age of 18 has been exposed to monkeypox and the benefit of the vaccine outweighs any potential risk, they can file a request with the FDA. In a statement, the FDA said many such requests have been granted, but not exactly how many.
At present, most cases of monkeypox confirmed in the current outbreak domestically and worldwide have been detected in gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men. However, health officials have repeatedly stressed that the virus does not discriminate and that anyone exposed to monkey pox can contract the virus.
At least five children in the US are now positive for monkeypox, according to state and local officials from across the country.
On Thursday, the Biden administration declared the current monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency in the US
Worldwide, more than 28,000 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in 88 countries, including 7,500 cases reported domestically.
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