Saying it now has identified seven cases of monkeypox as of June 12, the Chicago, il Department of Public Health  is warning people to take precautions when in spaces or situations where monkeypox could spread through close or intimate contact.

CDPH  said in a statement yesterday that some of these cases involve people who had recently traveled to Europe and that one Chicago resident reported attending the International Mr. Leather conference in Chicago from May 26-30. Residents from another state who were diagnosed with monkeypox also reported attending the conference, CDPH stated.


“Early data suggests that gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM)  make up a high number of cases, ” the statement said. However , the risk of monkeypox is not limited to MSM and not all  cases in Chicago have been among men.

People can be infected with the monkeypox virus when they come in contact with lesions, bodily fluids or respiratory secretions of anyone infected with the virus, the statement said, or along with objects that have been in contact with lesions or bodily fluids.

The LGBTQ community may be at higher alert, particularly during increased gatherings during Pride month, according to a Northwestern statement.  

Northwestern Medicine infectious diseases expert Dr . Robert Murphy said in the declaration that more than 95% of cases in Europe, Canada and the U. S. are in LGBTQ individuals, specifically hitting the community of men having sex with men.  


While the virus is a relative of  smallpox, most people currently affected have reported only mild symptoms, no one has died, and there is a vaccine available, CDPH said in its statement.

Murphy, executive director for the Havey Institute for Global Health at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, emphasized that “it’s not a gay disease—there have been outbreaks on many college campuses. But when you think about vaccinating, you want to look at high-risk populations first. So , the particular CDC and local health departments will want to prevent and treat monkeypox in locations that are already experiencing or are predicted to experience an outbreak. ” 

CDPH said it has contacted public health departments around the country about its investigation to request notification associated with any additional cases involving people who visited Chicago from May 26-30.

Murphy said in the statement that will symptoms to watch out for include flu-like symptoms, fever, aches, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes “and this rash that has an uniform, blistery appearance—unlike chickenpox, which might have lesions in all different stages (new little ones, old ones). It’s how you distinguish chickenpox from smallpox (monkeypox presents more like smallpox). If you spot any of these symptoms, seek immediate treatment. ”

Howard Brown Health has an  online FAQ   with details about monkeypox.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.