Chicago (CBS) – Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker on Monday declared monkeypox a public health emergency, and declared Illinois a disaster area with regard to the disease.
The declaration, effective statewide, will allow the Illinois Department of Public Health to coordinate logistics to assist with vaccine distribution, and in treatment and prevention efforts. The announcement will also help coordinate the state’s response with the federal government.
“MPV is a rare disease, but it can be serious and requires the full mobilization of all available public health resources to prevent its spread,” Gov. Pritzker said in a news release. “That is why I have declared a state of emergency to ensure smooth coordination between state agencies and all levels of government, thus increasing our ability to prevent and rapidly treat disease. We have seen this virus disproportionately impact the LGBTQ+ community in its initial spread. Here in Illinois, we will ensure that the LGBTQ community + Has the resources they need to stay safe while ensuring that members are not stigmatized while they access critical healthcare.”
The advertisement is effective immediately and will remain in effect for 30 days. The World Health Organization declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern on 23 July.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health Dr. Alison Arwady issued a statement endorsing the state’s public health emergency declaration, and say that additional city declaration is not necessary:
“This emergency declaration brings a much-needed focus to the monkeypox (MPV) outbreak we’re seeing here in Chicago, across our state, and across the country. Since the beginning of the outbreak, the Chicago Department of Public Health has been working hard with clinical and community partners to raise awareness and vaccinate the population. We will continue to do so. However, in the end, we need more support from the federal level to fully address the threat that MPV poses to our city. We hope that this announcement will join the chorus of others across the country and encourage the rapid increase and distribution of vaccines. This will allow Declaring to the state using emergency procurement powers and directly involving other state agencies, such as the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), in the statewide response.Chicago does not need a separate emergency declaration because we cover it first state, and in addition, we already have an emergence Local Procurement LLC; a strong local distribution network; and a diverse group of clinical and community partners working to raise awareness and vaccinate Chicago residents at increased risk.”
Monkeypox: What we know so far
As of Monday, a total of 520 cases of monkeypox have been reported in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Health. This total includes all possible and confirmed cases.
The city of Chicago reported a total of 330 cases as of July 28.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said monkeypox can spread through close, personal contact, often from skin to skin. Officials note that the virus is mainly spread among men who have same-sex partners.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms include respiratory problems, fever, rash, and headache. A full list of symptoms can be found here.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said symptoms usually begin “within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus.” The illness usually lasts two to four weeks.
As reported by CBS 2, patients described painful sores all over their bodies, along with fever, headache, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes.
Monkeypox cases often resolve after a few weeks without additional treatment. Some of the reported cases were more serious and led to hospitalization.