Just a few days after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the end of the mpox (formerly monkeypox) international emergency, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an alert of a resurgence of new cases in the Chicago area.
Between April 17 and May 5, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) reported a total of 12 confirmed cases and one probable case of mpox.
All the cases involved men between ages 24 and 46, all of whom showed symptoms of the infection, per the CDC alert.
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None of them had been hospitalized at the time the alert was issued.
In nearly 70% of the new cases, the infected men had received two doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine.
The majority of cases (69%) were of non-Hispanic White men, 15% were non-Hispanic Black men and 15% were Asian men.
Four of the men recently traveled out of state to New York City, New Orleans and Mexico, the CDC stated.
What to know about mpox
Mpox is an infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. It spreads through any type of close contact and primarily affects men who have sex with men.
An international outbreak of mpox began in May 2022, peaking that summer.
Since then, cases have steadily declined, “likely because of a combination of temporary changes in sexual behavior, vaccination and infection-induced immunity,” the CDC stated.
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There have been 87,000 confirmed cases of mpox and 140 deaths globally, according to data from the WHO.
As of May 10, a total of 30,395 cases have been reported in the U.S., per the CDC.
Mpox typically causes a rash that can appear on the hands, feet, chest, face, mouth and/or genitals.
The rash goes through several stages before scabbing over and healing.
Other common symptoms include fever, chills, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, swollen lymph nodes, cough, sore throat and nasal congestion.
Vaccines could help prevent future outbreaks
A two-dose vaccine, JYNNEOS, is available to protect against both mpox and smallpox.
The CDC recommends that at-risk people get vaccinated to prevent severe disease.
In nearly 70% of the new mpox cases, the infected men had received two doses of the vaccine.
Dr. Marc Siegel, a professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center and a Fox News medical contributor, credits the vaccine for helping to end the 2022 outbreak.
“The use of ring vaccination, where those who were close to monkeypox cases are vaccinated, played a role,” he told Fox News Digital.
Only 23% of the at-risk population has been fully vaccinated, the CDC reported.
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“The projected risk of a resurgent mpox outbreak is greater than 35% in most jurisdictions in the United States without additional vaccination or adapting sexual behavior to prevent the spread of mpox,” the CDC report stated.
“Resurgent outbreaks in these communities could be as large or larger than in 2022.”
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To prevent new outbreaks, the CDC advises doctors to encourage vaccination and to test patients for mpox even if they have been vaccinated or already had the disease.