Recent Outbreaks and Incidents

July 2022  - Monkeypox

What: Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus. Illnes may include a rash, which may look like pimples or blisters, often with an earlier flu-like illness. It’s spread mainly through human contact with infected rodents, but can sometimes be spread through skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. There are two known types (clades) of monkeypox virus - one that originated in Central Africa and one that originated in West Africa. The current world outbreak (2022) is caused by the less severe West African clade.

 IDOH - Monkeypox

Where: Scientists at the CDC are tracking multiple cases of monkeypox worldwide, including the United States.

What to do:

  • Avoid contact with infected animals (especially sick or dead animals).
  • Avoid contact with bedding and other materials contaminated with the virus.
  • Thoroughly cook all foods that contain animal meat or parts.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Avoid contact with people who may be infected with the virus.
  • Practice safe sex, including the use of condoms and dental dams.
  • Wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose when around others.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for people infected with the virus.

Call your healthcare provider if you:

  • Feel sick with fever, aches or swollen lymph nodes.
  • Have a new rash or sores.
  • Have been in close contact with an infected person.

Seek medical care if you have any emergency situation. Call 9-1-1.

June  2022 - West Nile Virus

What: West Nile virus (WNV) is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States.  It is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. Cases of WNV occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall. There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV in people. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV do not feel sick. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness. 

Where: Lake County and Steuben County.

How to Reduce Risks: 

  • Discard old tires, tin cans, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold stagnant water;
  • Repair failed septic systems;
  • Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors;
  • Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains; 
  • Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed;
  • Flush ornamental fountains and birdbaths periodically;
  • Aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with predatory fish. 
  • Frequently replace the water in pet bowls; and
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home. 

State health officials recommend the following measures to prevent mosquito-borne diseases when venturing outside:

  • Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active (especially late afternoon, dusk to dawn and early morning);
  • Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol to clothes and exposed skin; and
  • Cover exposed skin by wearing a hat, long sleeves and long pants in places where mosquitoes are especially active, such as wooded areas.

To see the latest results of the state’s mosquito surveillance, go to

Arboviral diseases are immediately reportable to the local health department of the county where the patient resides.

February 2022 - Baby formula

What: The FDA warned consumers not to use certain powdered infant formula products from Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, Michigan infant formula production facility.

Where: Nationwide

What to do: As you consider options, speak with a health care provider for recommendations on changing feeding practices.

Due to shortage in infant formula, the FDA is working with government partners and other agencies to ensure there is enough supply available. One of the ways they are addressing this shortage is by importing certain infant formula. If your family is purchasing imported infant formula, please click on this link to learn ways to safely prepare imported infant formula.