Chicago sees 8 monkeypox resurgences since mid-April

CHICAGO — Howard Brown Health warns of resurgence of monkeypox cases in Chicago and recommends vaccination for people in at-risk areas.

LGBTQ-affirming health care providers have diagnosed eight cases of monkeypox since April 17, officials said. It was just an example.

Six of these new diagnoses were breakthrough cases among people who were already fully vaccinated, according to a Howard Brown spokesperson.

“When we got the vaccine last year, the medical advice given to our patients was that we expected to see some cases even after vaccination,” Howard Brown Health said. Instagram post“I advise everyone to exercise caution, stay safe and stay vigilant about potential symptoms.”

All eight cases were “mild” and none required pain management or TPOXX treatment, a spokeswoman said. , work continues to determine whether it is irrelevant.

Monkeypox, also known as MPV, can cause painful sores and is rarely fatal, health officials say.

The virus typically lasts for two to four weeks and is spread through person-to-person contact, officials said.

Last week’s rate of new infections was the highest seen in Chicago since November, according to Howard Brown Health. It was also the highest weekly new case rate seen nationwide.

At its peak in July, 143 Chicagoans were diagnosed with monkeypox in one week. But recently, according to Health Department figures, only one Chicago citizen was diagnosed between mid-February and mid-April.

According to Howard Brown Health, the results of tests performed last week are still pending.

“We encourage sexually active members of our community to [monkeypox] Dr. Patrick Gibbons, Chief Medical Director, Howard Brown Health, said: “…the more people who get vaccinated, the better the LGBTQ+ community will be protected against another outbreak of monkeypox this year.”

Anyone attending the International Mr. Leather Weekend at the end of May should get their first dose as soon as possible, Gibbons said.

Monkeypox vaccine is given in two doses, four weeks apart, according to the Chicago Public Health Department. Immunity begins to build days to weeks after the first dose, but full immunity does not develop until two weeks after her second dose.

Those who have not been vaccinated against monkeypox should call one of Howard Brown Health. nine clinics Make a plan. Patients can also be treated at Hyde’s Walk-in Clinics in Her Park, Englewood and Uptown.

Chicago Department of Public Health There is also a map of clinics where people can get vaccinated.

Here’s what else you should know about monkeypox.

credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Community Health RN Kristen Figueroa administers smallpox and monkeypox vaccines to a patient at the Monkeypox Vaccination Clinic at CALOR in Humboldt Park on August 17, 2022.

How is monkeypox spread?

According to the CDC, monkeypox can spread by:

  • People who come into direct contact with infectious human rashes, scabs, or bodily fluids.
  • People who come into contact with an infected person’s respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex, or during intimate physical contact.
  • Someone has touched items such as clothing or linens that have previously come in contact with a person’s contagious rash or bodily fluids.
  • A pregnant woman who gets monkeypox can pass it on to her unborn baby.

Infected animals can also spread monkeypox to humans in a variety of scenarios. For example, infected animals can scratch or bite people, and people can eat meat or products from infected animals, according to the CDC.

According to the CDC, monkeypox can spread after an infected person shows symptoms until the rash heals and the symptoms disappear. People without symptoms cannot spread the virus.

Who can get monkeypox?

Anyone can get monkeypox.

In Chicago, most cases are diagnosed in men, especially those who have sex with men, said Dr. Alison Alwadi, the city’s health commissioner. That’s because it makes it easier for the virus to spread, she said. There is nothing concrete about being part of the LGBTQ+ community that makes someone more susceptible to monkeypox.

Related: ‘Do people outside the LGBTQ+ community have rough skin?’: Experts battle monkeypox stigma

credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A form of monkeypox rash.

Symptoms of monkeypox

Experts say the hallmark symptom of monkeypox is a rash that can take weeks to heal and may go through stages as it heals.

According to the CDC and experts, rashes can look like pimples or blisters that can appear on a person’s face, face, hands, chest, genitals, or anus.

Howard Brown Health CEO David Ernest Munnar previously said the rash can be internal, making it difficult for people to go to the bathroom and eat and drink.

Munar said the rash can be “extremely painful, excruciatingly painful.”

Some people experience only a rash, while others develop other symptoms, experts say. Other symptoms:

  • heat
  • headache
  • muscle pain and back pain
  • swollen lymph nodes, including in the neck and groin
  • cold
  • fatigue and malaise

“Often people have flu-like symptoms, and then a rash like blisters or acne appears that can be very painful,” Arwady previously said.

Experts say people with symptoms should seek medical attention for testing.

What should I do if I think I have monkeypox?

People who think they have monkeypox should isolate themselves from others, limit skin-to-skin contact with others, and be careful not to share bedding, towels, or other linens. .

Alwadi previously said that people with new, unexplained rashes should avoid sex and intimate relationships until they are examined by a medical professional.

People who think they have monkeypox should seek medical attention and be tested.

How to get tested for monkeypox

Go to your healthcare provider and get tested for monkeypox. Inspection at the window is not possible.

The test is widespread and available in most clinics and medical settings, Arwady said. A medical professional runs a swab on a person’s rash to test for monkeypox.

Arwady said those who do not have a healthcare provider can call the city’s health department for treatment at 312-746-4835.

who can be vaccinated against monkeypox in chicago

City health departments are prioritizing vaccines for those most at risk of the virus.

Those eligible in Chicago are:

  • People who have been in skin contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox. There are no restrictions for this group of people.
  • People who exchange goods or services for sex.
  • People living with HIV, especially those not receiving HIV care or taking HIV medications regularly.
  • People who are eligible for or are currently taking PrEP to prevent HIV transmission.
  • sexually active bisexual, gay and other same-sex loving men, and sexually active transgender people.
  • The above sexual partners, or people expected to meet the above criteria in the future.

How can I get vaccinated?

at the Chicago Public Health Department A map of clinics where people can be vaccinated.

Howard Brown Health clinics also offer vaccines by appointment or walk-in. Find your nearest location here.

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