LGBTQ health officials warn of monkeypox resurgence ahead of IML

Sun. May 7, 2023 8:09 AM by News Staff

photo credit // cdc

Anyone at risk for monkeypox who hasn't been vaccinated can schedule a vaccination appointment with Howard Brown Health

Howard Brown Health, the most recognizable healthcare provider to the Chicago LGBTQ community, is warning of a resurgence in monkeypox (mpox) cases across the city in recent weeks.

The healthcare agency has diagnosed seven new cases since April 17, marking the highest case rate in Chicago since early November 2022 and the highest weekly new case rate in any US region so far this year.

In a news release, Howard Brown Health encouraged sexually active community members to receive the monkeypox vaccine.

“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,” said Dr. Patrick Gibbons, Chief Medical Director at Howard Brown Health. “The more people who get vaccinated, the better protected the LGBTQ+ community will be from another outbreak of monkeypox this year.”

Anyone at risk for mpox who hasn't been vaccinated can schedule a vaccination appointment at one of Howard Brown's nine medical clinics.

Mpox presents as a flu-like infection, often accompanied by lesions, and spreads through close personal contact with the infected lesions, skin blisters, body fluids or respiratory secretions of someone infected.

Although mpox is not considered a sexually transmitted disease - anyone can contract it - sexual activity is often a factor for transmission due to the close physical contact involved.

Anyone experiencing any symptoms indicative of mpox, such as new bumps, blisters, or rash in the face, trunk, hands, or back, should contact Howard Brown Health at 773-388-1600 to arrange prompt testing.