Mpox cases still on the rise in Chicago
CHICAGO (CBS) -- New numbers issued Thursday show cases of mpox are still rising in the Chicago area with summer around the corner.
A total of 24 cases have been confirmed in Chicago and suburban Cook County since March, along with two probable cases.
All of those affected have been symptomatic men – most of whom have already had two doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine.
"We are seeing an increase in mpox cases over the past month – a reminder that the threat of mpox is not over," Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said in a news release. "We saw during last year's outbreak that we have the tools to prevent mpox. We are asking Illinoisans at-risk for mpox to take precautions to reduce their exposure and get vaccinated – either for the first time or to complete the two-dose course. Mpox vaccine remains an important tool in stopping the spread of mpox and may help prevent serious illness."
The IDPH noted that mpox, formerly monkeypox, has been spread primarily by close, sustained contact, and has been almost exclusively associated with sexual contact since the outbreak last year.
Mpox can infect anyone. But in the 2022 outbreak, infections were mostly among men who have sex with men.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently again raised the alarm about the virus – just one year after a global outbreak.
The CDC's new alert for doctors and health authorities comes ahead of new vaccine effectiveness data expected to be released by the agency.
"Spring and summer season in 2023 could lead to a resurgence of mpox as people gather for festivals and other events," the CDC said in the alert, echoing an earlier prediction by the agency's modelers.
The IDPH urged those at risk to get vaccinated ahead of summer festivals such as Pride Fest.
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