City Continues to Prioritize Those at Highest Risk of Monkeypox

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced that 326 Chicagoans have tested positive for the monkeypox virus (MPV) as the department and City continue outreach efforts in response to the outbreak. CDPH encourages Chicagoans to educate themselves about MPV – the MPV page of the CDPH website is updated daily with new information and resources – and to take precautions to help stem the spread of the virus. The most common symptoms of MPV are a rash or sores that look like pimples or blisters that can appear anywhere on the body. Some people also have flu-like symptoms including fever, chills, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes. MPV is primarily spread from person to person through direct contact with a rash or sore or through respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact.  Currently, it is most often spread during intimate activities, including sex or kissing, though it can spread through bedding or other materials used by a person infected with MPV.

Though anyone can catch MPV, most, but not all, of the cases in Chicago have been diagnosed in males, with a median age of 35 (patients range from 22 to 66 years old). About 4 percent of cases in Chicago have required hospitalization and there have been no known deaths from MPV. Currently, MPV is primarily affecting and spreading among gay, bisexual or other (cis or trans) men who have sex with men, who have intimate or sexual contact with other men in social or sexual venues, or who have multiple or anonymous partners. Settings where there is higher likelihood of spreading MPV include enclosed spaces such as backrooms, saunas or sex clubs, where there is minimal or no clothing and where intimate sexual contact occurs. If your partner has MPV, the best way to protect yourself and others is to avoid any kind of intimate contact; do not kiss or touch each other’s bodies while you are sick or share food or drinks. Do not share things like towels, bedding, clothing, fetish gear, sex toys, and toothbrushes. For additional information, visit the CDPH monkeypox website Get the Facts: Monkeypox

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