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Know Mpox campaign launched

Thursday, May 18, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Illinois Public Health Association…

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and health departments across Illinois are closely monitoring a resurgence of Mpox, formerly monkeypox, cases, particularly in patients who have previously received a vaccination.

The newest spike comes just days after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the end of the Mpox international public health emergency, but it highlights the importance of staying vigilant against the disease. Federal and state authorities have opened access to JYNNEOS vaccine doses to public health departments throughout Illinois. While vaccinated individuals are less likely to contract Mpox, breakthrough cases have occurred. According to the CDC, the JYNNEOS vaccine is nearly 70% effective at reducing the risk of Mpox.

“This dangerous virus is still a threat across the State of Illinois, particularly our central and southern regions,” said Jeffery Erdman, IPHA’s associate executive director. “The Illinois Public Health Association is keeping a close eye on the situation and reminds healthcare providers of the resources IPHA has available to help fight back against the virus.”

The Know Mpox campaign, launched earlier this month, is designed to help health directors and other public health officials in Illinois prepare for an outbreak of Mpox. IPHA encourages gay and bisexual Illinois residents, those with immunocompromising conditions or anybody exposed to the virus to get vaccinated.

Additionally, provides a comprehensive digital tool kit, to help residents, LGBTQ+ resource centers, and Community Health Workers statewide locate nearby Mpox treatments and preventative services.

“These resources play a critical role in our work against the Mpox virus. In addition to vaccinations, knowledge is our biggest tool in the fight against this disease,” Erdman said.

Finding JYNNEOS vaccine doses and getting people to them can cause significant burdens in impoverished, sparsely populated areas. IPHA’s Community Health Workers help close that gap by providing resources in their own communities.

Mpox, or MPV, is a viral infection transmitted through direct, physical contact. During the 3 to 17-day incubation period, a person typically does not notice any symptoms, but those with Mpox typically experience a rash on their hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth or near the genitals. Some other side effects include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, muscle aches, headaches and respiratory symptoms.

Funding for Know Mpox is possible through a grant from the Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH).

* Illinois Times

The vast majority of cases diagnosed in Illinois have been among gay and bisexual men who are not in monogamous relationships. A disproportionate number of cases have been detected among Black and Hispanic people, state and federal health officials said.

People at risk also include people with moderate to severe conditions that compromise their immune systems, such as those with the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV.

People who have been infected with mpox usually don’t notice any symptoms during an incubation period of three to 17 days, the association says. After that, people typically experience a rash on their hands, feet, chest, face or near their genitals.

Other side effects can include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, muscle aches, headaches and respiratory symptoms. It’s believed that not all mpox cases are being diagnosed, because its symptoms can mirror the flu and other ailments, according to Jeffery Erdman, associate executive director of the Illinois Public Health Association.


1 Comment »
  1. - Earnest - Thursday, May 18, 23 @ 11:10 am:

    Good on IDPH for their efforts. Despite being very low risk, I felt it was responsible to get my vaccinations back in the fall. The local health (North Central IL) department did a great job with scheduling, though they said the response was low. It was understandable as the eligibility made getting the vaccination tantamount to outing oneself, which is a scary prospect for many in my area. Additionally, I didn’t anticipate the vaccination status being supplied to my local doctor/hospital. I live in a Catholic monopoly area and don’t think myself completely unhinged to fear future potential federal religious freedoms allowing them to deny care based on my status.

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