Illinois daycare worker with monkeypox may have exposed children

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Illinois daycare worker with monkeypox may have exposed children

An Illinois daycare worker with monkeypox might have exposed children under his care, and an exemption was granted to allow those youths to receive the vaccine, health officials said Friday.

The case was reported in Rontoul, a village in Champaign County in central Illinois, health officials said.

The number of children exposed wasn't clear, but officials said no other people connected to the center had tested positive.

State health director Sameer Vohra said it takes close, personal and sometimes prolonged contact to contract the disease.

He said that the monkeypox virus is not an airborne virus.

Vohra said that the Food and Drug Administration is allowing vaccination for children younger than 18 in cases where they may have been exposed to the virus, although the vaccine is not typically available to children.

That means that anyone with their guardian approval will be vaccinated today, he said, referring to those who might be exposed at the daycare facility.

The vaccine for monkeypox, Jynneos, is approved in the U.S. for use only in adults. The vaccine may be administered in children from six months to 17 years old under special circumstances that include possible exposure, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

State officials said that contact tracing was underway to determine who may have been around the worker who tested positive.

Julie Pryde, administrator of the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, said anyone with a tiny suspicion will be put in isolation pending results of monkeypox testing.

The Biden administration declared monkeypox a public health emergency, a move that frees up more funding for testing, treatment, education and research.

Monkeypox is most commonly spread through sexual contact among men. Federal health officials say that 1% of U.S. monkeypox cases so far are people who were assigned male at birth.

The World Health Organization is telling men to reduce the number of partners they might encounter and reconsider having contact with new ones if they have sex with men.

There were at least 26,200 monkeypox cases as part of the current global wave, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC said there were 7,102 cases in the United States as of Friday.