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Chicago man has Illinois’ first probable case of monkeypox

June 2, 2022 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago man who recently traveled to Europe has Illinois’ first probable case of monkeypox, state and Chicago health officials said Thursday.

The Chicago Department of Public Health and Illinois Department of Public Health said the man has not required hospitalization and is “isolating at home in good condition.”

The two health agencies said they are working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the man’s health care providers on contact tracing intended “to identify individuals with whom the patient may have been in contact.”

“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 agencies said in a news release.

Monkeypox belongs to the same virus family as smallpox, but its symptoms are milder. People usually recover within two to four weeks without needing to be hospitalized, but the disease occasionally is deadly.

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Monkeypox is ordinarily found in countries in West and Central Africa with tropical rainforests but recently the disease has been discovered in more than 20 countries including Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, the United States, Israel and Australia.

More than 500 monkeypox cases have been reported, many apparently tied to sexual activity at two recent raves in Europe. No deaths have been reported.