Monkey pox connections
The Winnebago County Health Department worked Sunday and Monday following up on a report of a possible local resident adoption of a prairie dog from a DuPage County pet shop. This pet shop is the same organization that has a possible connection with the one or more human cases of monkey pox.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDA) and several local health departments throughout Illinois have been working together to follow up on both animals adopted from the DuPage County facility as well as individuals who may have been exposed to sick prairie dogs. Until these recent findings in Illinois and Wisconsin and perhaps other Midwest states, monkey pox-like illness has not been identified previously in the Western Hemisphere. This particular virus can cause symptoms that include a fever, cough, rash and swollen lymph nodes, occurring within two weeks following close contact with prairie dogs.
Records from the involved pet shop in DuPage County have indicated one local resident has adopted a prairie dog on May 18, 2003. Approximately 10 days after the adoption, the prairie dog died from an uncertain illness. This resident also had two existing prairie dogs, both of which have become ill and have subsequently been euthanized by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. They have been euthanized for further testing by the CDC.
The Department will be closely monitoring the family for the development of any symptoms that might be indicative of the illness of concern. Additional information will be made available as it evolves.