Monkeypox Chicago cases near 300, including Cook County Jail inmate, city distributes 15K vaccine doses: public health department
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CHICAGO (WLS) — There have now been more known cases of Monkeypox diagnosed in the United States than in any other country worldwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control, which updated its current count to 3,846 Tuesday.

In Chicago, the numbers have continued to grow as well.

“We have now had just under 300 Chicagoans diagnosed with MPV,” said Janna Kerins with the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Discussing the outbreak during a webinar today, infectious disease experts with CDPH disclosed not just the numbers, but the challenges they currently face. They have been trying to get the vaccine to those who most need it at a time, but they have a very limited number of doses on hand.

“We’re aiming to do the best that these 15,000 can do,” said CDPH Deputy Commissioner Dr. Massimo Pacilli.

MPV has primarily impacted certain segments of the gay male population, so that is where the vaccine supply is being focused. And while it is meant to be given as a two-dose course three weeks apart, doctors said for now, it’s okay to delay administering that second dose.

“We’re really trying to interrupt the spread of MPV, getting the genie back in the bottle in a lot of ways, getting as much vaccine out, as soon as possible to the high risk population is incredibly important,” said Dr. Stockton Meyer, who specializes in infectious diseases at UI Health.

Meanwhile, it was disclosed Tuesday that the Cook County Jail identified its first case of MPV. The health department said “the individual was immediately isolated, and out of an abundance of caution, the living unit quarantined and monitored with daily screenings.”

“I think we’re still learning from congregate settings, but I think what we know from our experience right now from this outbreak is it really requires that close personal contact,” Meyer said.

And while infectious disease experts don’t expect to see MPV outbreaks on the scale of what was experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cook County Health Department said CDPH is on site at the jail Tuesday. Its visit expected to help develop protocols for congregate settings going forward.

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