Illinois monkeypox case count rises to 571, rising over Market Days Weekend

Chicago’s top doctor on Thursday urged Chicagoans to avoid behavior that could put them at risk of contracting the monkeypox virus, calling this weekend a “time to be careful” as tens of thousands of people flock to Northalstead Market Days. Let’s prepare to gather on the North Side. street festival.

The annual celebration in the heart of Chicago’s LGBTQ community comes amid a rare monkeypox, or MPV, outbreak that has now spread to at least 571 people in Illinois, in most cases — 478 as of early June through Thursday — in the city. is being reported.

Those cases have been detected in 55 of Chicago’s 77 community areas, and while most have been reported in men who have sex with men, officials stress the fact that anyone can become infected by close contact.

“There is nothing biological about this virus that makes it specific to men who have sex with men. However, this is the network where we see it spreading the most in Chicago and around the world,” Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr Alison Arvadi said at the City Hall news conference.

“At this time the overall risk of MPV for the general public remains low, but we really want to stress that we need to see you a health care provider if you develop symptoms.”

These include pimple-like sores and rashes, as well as fever, body aches, and chills. Arvadi said that the virus is mainly spreading through prolonged exposure to the rash of an infected person.

The activity most at risk for spreading MPV is sexual or intimate contact with multiple or unnamed partners — with or without condoms, Arvadi said, because transmission is mostly based on direct contact with a wound that can occur anywhere on the body. Is.

Activities that pose some risk — but not as much, as Arvadi said — include kissing, hugging, dancing at a crowded party where people are not fully clothed, as well as drinks, towels, bedding or sharing toiletries.

MPV is much less likely to spread among people who are dancing while fully clothed, Arvadi said, and it is not thought to spread as much among peers, who are involved in mass transit, Spread among co-workers by swimming, going to the gym, or trying on clothes. at the shop.

Officials will raise MPV awareness on market days this Saturday and Sunday with banners, posters and videos aimed at educating people on how to avoid the virus.

Festival organizer Mark Liberson said, “The Department of Health … “It’s not from being in a bar. It’s not a business, so we want people to have a good time, and I think we can do that safely.”

Arvadi said the city did not consider canceling the festival because “our ability to work with such organizations, getting the right information to raise awareness about it, is the most important thing.”

“We don’t think it sends the right message to say we’re not doing this at all. We know that messages of moderation don’t succeed. … But it’s time to be careful. There are many in this setting right now.” Or there would be a higher risk of having an unnamed sexual partner.”

Monkeypox has sent 29 Chicagoans to hospitals so far. No one has died of the virus in Illinois.

Federal health officials declared monkeypox a public health emergency on Thursday, freeing up more money and resources to combat the outbreak, which now has more than 6,600 nationwide.

Government JB Pritzker did so at the state level on Monday, as Illinois has seen the third most cases of any state in the US, trailing only New York and California.

“Our team is working with our federal government to get as much vaccine as we can, but a lot of our work at the moment is really making sure we get that vaccine where it is needed. , so that we can get involved and reduce it. It spread,” Illinois Director of Public Health Dr. Samir Vohra said in a separate news conference.


Gov. JB Pritzker, looks as Dr. Samir Vohra, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, speaks during a news conference Thursday at the Chicago Family Health Center on the South Side.

Demand for the monkeypox vaccine still far exceeds supply as the federal government ramps up production for its vaccine stockpile, which has been low since the virus was rarely exposed in the US over the past several decades.

Arvadi said about 22,000 doses of the vaccine have been given in Chicago so far, with another 13,000 doses expected in the city on Wednesday and 20,000 in the next month and a half. But each of those recipients will need a second dose — and the population of men who have sex with men is estimated at 120,000 in Cook County.

For now, priority is being given to those in close contact with infected people.

Monkeypox tests are widely available and anyone with possible symptoms is urged to contact a medical provider immediately.

For more information from the city call or visit 844-482-4040,

Leave a Comment