• Since April 17, Chicago has logged seven new cases
  • The city's Department of Public Health had logged one case in the three months prior to April 17
  • People at risk are being urged to get vaccinated against mpox

The Chicago area has recently seen a "resurgence" in mpox cases after months of having nearly no occurrences, prompting renewed calls for vigilance and vaccination.

There were seven new cases of mpox (also known as monkeypox) since April 17, healthcare provider Howard Brown Health noted in a news release on May 5. By comparison, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) logged one case in the three months prior to April 17, highlighting the recent uptick in cases.

"Last week's new case rate was the highest in Chicago since early November 2022 and was the highest weekly new case rate in any US region so far this year," noted Howard Brown Health.

Sure enough, data from the CDPH showed the peak of the outbreak in the city some time in late 2022, before going on a continuously downward trend until cases dropped to single digits toward the end of the year. Most of February and March 2023 did not see any cases until toward the end of April, when more cases were logged again, albeit still much lower than during the peak in 2022.

In total, Chicago has logged 1,130 cumulative cases, including 77 hospitalizations and three deaths as of May. Illinois is among the U.S. states that saw more than a thousand mpox cases during the outbreak.

Under the current circumstances, Howard Brown Health is urging those who may be at higher risk of getting mpox to get the vaccine.

"We urge sexually active members of our community to receive the mpox vaccine," Chief Medical Director Dr. Patrick Gibbons said in the release. "The more people who get vaccinated, the better protected the LGBTQ+ community will be from another outbreak of Monkeypox this year."

Data so far suggests that most of the cases in the current outbreak are among those who are gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. To be clear, however, anyone who has had contact with someone who has mpox is at risk of contracting it "regardless of sexual orientation or gender," noted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As of April 26, the CDC has logged 30,3061 cases and 42 deaths in the U.S. mpox outbreak. Globally, there have reportedly been more than 87,000 cases.

Amid the resurgence of mpox cases, those who notice symptoms of mpox such as a rash or blisters on the face, hands or trunk are also being advised to get tested and to consult a healthcare provider.

On Mpox -- formerly known as monkeypox -- Tedros said the global outbreak had taken the world by surprise