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Chicago Sees First Monkeypox Case

Officials said the case poses "little risk" to the general public, but advised Chicagoans to avoid contact with people who have symptoms or have been exposed to the rare virus.

The Monkeypox virus.
CDC
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CHICAGO — The first case of Monkeypox has been identified in Chicago — but the city’s health department said it poses “little risk” to the general public.

A man in Chicago has tested positive for Monkeypox after traveling to Europe, Chicago Department of Public Health officials announced Thursday.

The man is in good condition, isolating at home, the Tribune reported. He did not require hospitalization.

First discovered in 1958, Monkeypox is a rare disease that is endemic to parts of central and west Africa, but has recently spread to other countries, including the United States. A total of 25 countries have reported cases as of May 31, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Monkeypox is spread through close contact, like touching someone’s rash and sores, sharing bedding or towels or respiratory droplets by kissing, coughing or sneezing.

People infected with the Monkeypox virus typically experience flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes before developing a painful rash on their face and body. The illness can last up to four weeks.

Chicago’s health department said the current risk of catching the virus is “small,” but advised Chicagoans to avoid contact with anyone who has either tested positive for the virus, been exposed to the virus or has skin lesions or other symptoms. Contact to avoid includes touching sores, kissing or sex.

A total of 19 cases have been reported nationwide as of June 1, according to the CDC. California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts and New York are among the states that have identified cases.

People with rashes or other symptoms should immediately seek medical care.

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