Exotic Animal Quarantine

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Spokesman Jeff Squibb says exotic pets such as prairie dogs and Gambian giant rats must be euthanized before the quarantines are lifted.

Other mammals like dogs or cats that have been exposed to exotic pets must be quarantined too. But Squibb says they may be released if they don't get sick within six weeks of being removed from the exotic animals.

Nine people in Illinois have contracted monkeypox. It's similar to smallpox and produces fever, rash, chills and aches. All of the cases have been traced to a Villa Park exotic pets store.

Agriculture announced the quarantine after the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found monkeypox in exotic animals that died in Texas. Those animals were in the same April shipment from Africa as those that came to Illinois.