Health officials have confirmed 105 cases of monkeypox in Chicago. The first probable case was discovered in the early part of June. On Monday, health officials stated that most of the individuals who have contracted monkeypox have been gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.
Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady stated that the spread seems to be transmitted through “tight-knit social networks.” However, she emphasized that anyone can spread monkeypox.
The virus can be transmitted through close physical contact with anyone who has monkeypox sores. It can also happen if a person touches anything that has been contaminated with sores, fluids, or through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact, according to health officials.
Anyone who has been exposed to the virus can receive a monkeypox vaccine. Health officials have stated that vaccinations are not recommended for the general public.
Massimo Pacilli, CDPH’s deputy commissioner for disease control, said the monkeypox vaccine is being administrated to individuals who are at the highest risk of exposure. This will help interrupt transmission.
Dr. Arwady explained that one of the reasons health officials “can’t give out [monkeypox vaccines] broadly is (we need) to make sure we have enough for known contacts because that can prevent disease in the highest risk folks.”
So far the city of Chicago has received 5,409 vaccines. They are expecting 7,493 more in the coming weeks.
Monkeypox is a serious but rare disease. It is typically characterized by new, unexplained skin lesions and rashes. Recently health officials have identified cases of skin lesions in the groin, genital, and anal regions. These may be confused with common diseases such as herpes and syphilis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A few other symptoms are fever, chills, and swollen lymph nodes.
Chicagoans who experience symptoms or develop an unusual rash should isolate themselves and see a physician. They could also call 312-746-4835 to get connected to care.
Written by Sheena Robertson
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