Chicago urges monkeypox caution at gatherings as US cases top 70

Chicago urges monkeypox caution at gatherings as US cases top 70

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Monkeypox and orthopoxvirus cases in the U.S. topped 70 on Wednesday, as officials in Illinois’ city of Chicago warned residents to take caution regarding transmission. 

In a statement, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) said Monday that it continues to investigate reports of cases in residents and is asking people to take proper precautions when in spaces or situations were the virus could be spread through close or intimate contact. 

The state of Illinois has confirmed eight cases, seven of which are in Chicago. Some of the cases involve individuals who recently traveled from Europe. 

The CDPH said it continues to work closely with the state’s health department and other local public health departments to identify other potential cases.

US MONKEYPOX INFECTIONS CLIMB TO 65

“While the risk in Chicago remains low, CDPH wants the public to be able to make informed choices about gathering in spaces or participating in events where monkeypox could be spread through close or intimate contact,” Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of CDPH, said in a statement.

CDPH has been working with organizers of summer events to share information and encourage messaging about safety.

“Individuals attending festivals or other summer events should consider how much close, personal, skin-to-skin contact is likely to occur at the events they plan to attend. If someone feels sick or has rashes or sores, CDPH recommends not attending a gathering, and visiting a healthcare provider as soon as possible,” it said. 

California and New York have both reported 15 cases each since the start of the outbreak in the U.S. 

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The beach states of Hawaii and Florida have five each and Colorado and Massachusetts have four, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Utah, Georgia, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia have all reported two cases. 

Arizona, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and Washington state all have one. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday that it would act to rename the monkeypox virus after a group of scientists voiced concerns that the name could be stigmatizing. 

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World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters that the agency would convene an emergency meeting next week to determine whether the spread of monkeypox should be considered a public health emergency worldwide. 

Although the majority of new monkeypox cases have been seen in gay or bisexual men, experts caution that anyone is at potential risk. 

Fox News’ Paul Best contributed to this report.

Julia Musto is a reporter for Fox News Digital. You can find her on Twitter at @JuliaElenaMusto.

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