Illinois receives monkeypox virus vaccines

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CHICAGO, Ill. (July 5, 2022) – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has announced that as part of a national strategy to address the ongoing outbreak of monkeypox virus, the State of Illinois is receiving an immediate allocation of vaccines from the national stockpile. IDPH will initially receive 1,291 doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine while the Chicago Department of Public Health will be receiving a separate initial allocation of 3,200 doses. Federal authorities said the number of vaccine doses available is expected to increase substantially during the coming months. At the same time, the CDC is taking steps to increase testing capacity.

To date, the CDC is reporting 46 probable monkeypox virus cases in Illinois, with the vast majority in Chicago and the remaining cases in Cook, DuPage, Kane, and Lake Counties. Nationally, the CDC is reporting 351 cases in 28 states and the District of Columbia.

Monkeypox virus is a disease that does not spread easily between people without close contact and the threat of monkeypox to the general U.S. population remains low.

The vaccine doses distributed to IDPH will be available in counties that have experienced at least one case of the virus. The vaccine will be designated for individuals at higher risk of exposure, which includes those who have had close physical contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox virus or presumed exposure to the virus. It will also be available for those at occupational risk of exposure, such as lab workers, selected clinicians, and response team members.

The strategy aims to mitigate the spread of the virus in communities where transmission has been the highest and with populations most at risk.

The CDC is tracking multiple clusters of monkeypox that have been reported since the first case in the U.S. was confirmed on May 18. These cases include individuals who self-identify as men who have sex with men. The CDC is urging healthcare providers in the U.S. to be alert for patients who have rash illnesses consistent with monkeypox.

Anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, can spread monkeypox through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, or shared items (such as clothing and bedding) that have been contaminated with fluids or sores of a person with monkeypox. Monkeypox virus can also spread between people through respiratory droplets typically in a close setting, such as the same household or a healthcare setting. Common household disinfectants can kill the monkeypox virus.

For more information about the current cases of monkeypox in the U.S. and the national response, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/outbreak/us-outbreaks.html

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