Seven new mpox cases diagnosed in Chicago area

The latest cases have been diagnosed at Howard Brown Health since April 17. In the three months prior, just one case was diagnosed.

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The mpox virus.

The mpox virus has seen a “resurgence” in the Chicago area, according to Howard Brown Health, which has diagnosed seven new cases since April 17.

Associated Press

Seven new cases of mpox have been diagnosed by Howard Brown Health in the Chicago area since April 17, a significant increase, according to a Friday statement from the healthcare group.

In the three months leading up to April 17, Howard Brown said it had identified one case compared to seven, calling the new cases a “resurgence” of the virus. Results from several tests administered in the last few weeks are still pending.

The current seven-day average of infections is zero; on April 22, the average was one infection per week.

Symptoms of the mpox virus — formerly known as Monkeypox — are fever, chills, aches and a rash that looks like pimples or blisters, according to the Chicago Department of Health. It can be spread through close contact with sores and body fluids, such as sharing bedding or clothing, as well as respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing.

The Chicago Department of Public Health did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday night.

Federal emergency mobilizations were halted in January; the U.N. had declared mpox a global emergency in July 2023. Chicago saw more than 1,000 cases and two deaths before numbers trailed off late last year.

Healthcare officials urged people to get vaccinated for the virus, especially if they are sexually active or plan to attend events that could increase exposure.

“We urge sexually active members of our community to receive the mpox vaccine,” said Dr. Patrick Gibbons, Howard Brown’s Chief Medical Director. “The more people who get vaccinated, the better protected the LGBTQ+ community will be from another outbreak” of the virus his year.

In the event of exposure or suspected exposure, people are urged to reach out to their healthcare providers and get tested.

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