Cook County Health Department Gets Monkeypox Vaccine

Thursday, July 14, 2022 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews 

The Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) recently received doses of a monkeypox vaccine, health department officials announced July 8. 

The county’s 86 doses of JYNNEOS monkeypox (MPX) vaccine is enough to treat 43 people who are each put on a two-dose regimen, officials said. 

“JYNNEOS is in limited supply and thus being prioritized for use as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for individuals with known or suspected contact with monkeypox cases,” health department officials explained in a statement. 

“Currently, there are 700 confirmed MPX cases in the U.S., according to the CDC. This includes 91 cases in Illinois and 7 cases (plus 12 contacts) in CCDPH’s jurisdiction of suburban Cook County.” 

Right now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend widespread vaccination against monkeypox, but CCDPH said its considering “expanding vaccinations to those with a higher-than-normal risk of exposure, including close personal contacts of people with monkeypox, laboratory workers who test for monkeypox, and gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men.” 

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Monkeypox is a rare, but potentially life-threatening virus that is in the same family as smallpox. Infected individuals typically experience flu-like symptoms like fever, chills, muscle aches, headaches, rashes and lymph node swelling, county health department officials said. 

“Sometimes people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. People with monkeypox are contagious from the time they have symptoms until the rash fully heals. Most infections last 2-to-4 weeks.” 

The health department provided a list of precautions people can take to protect themselves:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with someone with a rash consistent with monkeypox.
  • Do not touch the rash or scabs of person with confirmed or suspected monkeypox.
  • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with confirmed or suspected monkeypox.
  • Do not share eating utensils or cups with someone with confirmed or suspected monkeypox.
  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels or clothing of a sick person.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after contact with sick people.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider if you were potentially exposed. You may be a candidate for a post-exposure vaccination to prevent the development of monkeypox disease.

How to protect others:

  • If you have symptoms particularly a rash consistent with monkeypox (even if you do not think you were in contact with anyone with monkeypox), or if you have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with monkeypox:
  • Stay home if you are feeling sick.
  • Contact a health care provider as soon as possible for an evaluation.
  • Avoid skin-to-skin, or close contact with others, including sexual contact, until a medical evaluation has been completed.
  • Inform sex partners about any symptoms you are experiencing.
  • Cover the rash with clean, dry, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Wear a well-fitted mask.
  • If you are contacted by public health officials, answer their confidential questions to help protect others who may have been exposed.
  • A person who is sick with monkeypox should isolate at home. Someone with an active rash or other symptoms should be in a separate room or area from other family members and pets when possible and contact their healthcare provider right away.

Click here to learn more about monkeypox.

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