CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago's top health official says the rush is on to get more monkeypox vaccine doses to those who need them, as infections continue to rise.
"We are expecting, over the next few weeks, another 20,000 or so doses. There are orders placed for millions more vaccine doses, but that is probably a few months from deployment, because this is complicated. It's like the beginning of COVID, where there's not enough vaccine for everybody, and how do you get it to where it's most needed," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady told aldermen during a City Council Health Committee meeting.
As of Monday, there are 556 cases of Monkeypox in Chicago, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cases here have risen steadily since the year's first confirmed case in early June. As of late July, there had been 481 total cases.
Arwady said there have been confirmed monkeypox cases reported in 60 of the city's 77 community areas. Arwady said it's likely there are unreported monkeypox cases in the other 17 community areas in Chicago.
If you think you might have the virus, samples can be taken by most local physicians and sent off for testing.
CDPH officials said monkeypox is spread through close contact with body fluids, sores, shared bedding or clothing, kissing, coughing, or sneezing. The virus can spread from the time symptoms begin until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed (usually about 2-4 weeks). It's not yet clear if the virus can spread through saliva, semen, or vaginal fluids.
Common symptoms include rash or unusual sores resembling pimples or blisters, fever, chills, head or muscle aches, and swelling of the lymph nodes.
Doctors advise people to avoid close skin-to-skin contact with anyone who might have a rash that looks like monkeypox, and to avoid sharing food, drinks, eating utensils, bedding, towels, or clothing of someone who has the virus.
For more information on monkeypox, visit the CDPH's web page on the virus at Chicago.gov/monkeypox.
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