The Chicago area is experiencing a resurgence in mpox infections, which are at the highest level since November and mark the highest weekly case rate in the nation, Howard Brown Health said in a May 5 press release.
The agency, which serves the LGBTQ+ community, said it has confirmed seven cases since Apr 17, with results of other tests still pending. It added that, in the 3 previous months, the Chicago Department of Public Health had reported only one mpox case.
Patrick Gibbons, DO, Howard Brown’s chief medical director, said, "We urge sexually active members of our community to receive the mpox vaccine. For example, unvaccinated people planning to attend International Mr. Leather at the end of May should receive their first dose of the mpox vaccination as soon as possible." He added that increased vaccination rates will better protect the community from another outbreak.
Concerns over global resurgence
Following last year's international outbreak, cases dropped sharply over the winter months. In February, the World Health Organization kept the public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) in place for mpox, citing sustained transmission in some countries, undetected transmission and under-reporting in others, and concerns about a possible resurgence when social events and other mass gatherings resume.