WOOD RIVER — The Madison County Health Department (MCHD) is reporting two probable cases of monkeypox virus (MPV).

[PRITZKER: Monkeypox Officially A Public Health Emergency]

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The individuals who tested positive for the virus are isolated at home. Both cases are associated with domestic travel and the persons had minimal contact with the public.

The health department notified any potential close contacts. To protect patient confidentiality, no additional information regarding the individuals will be released.

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal.

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The virus can spread from person to person through skin-to-skin contact with body fluids, infectious rash or scabs, touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids, or through respiratory secretions following prolonged face-to-face contact and intimate physical contact. Pregnant persons can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.

Symptoms of monkeypox can include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.

A person with monkeypox can spread it to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks and persons remain in isolation during that time.

[MORE: Monkeypox Outbreak Now a Global Health Emergency]

MCHD is recommending that individuals contact their healthcare provider if they have symptoms of monkeypox or have been in close contact with someone that has monkeypox. Testing and vaccination may be available to individuals who were exposed or are at high risk of exposure to the monkeypox virus.

Visit https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/ for more information about monkeypox virus.

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