Chicago, Philadelphia, LA County record first monkeypox cases
Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles County all announced their first monkeypox cases Thursday amid growing concerns about the outbreak in the United States.
All three locations’ public health departments are currently awaiting final confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the presumed cases.
“The patient is an adult resident who recently traveled and had a known close contact to a case. Although the patient is symptomatic, they are doing well and not hospitalized. They are isolated from others,” the Los Angeles County announcement said, assuring that the general public’s risk of monkeypox remains low.
“The Chicago Department of Public Health and Illinois Department of Public Health, announced today a single presumptive monkeypox case in an adult male Chicago resident with recent travel history to Europe,” wrote the Chicago agency in its announcement.
“The threat to Philadelphians from monkeypox is extremely low,” said Health Department Acute Communicable Disease Program Manager Dana Perella, with the health department adding that any details about the patient’s case will remain anonymous to protect the privacy of the patient.
“Monkeypox is much less contagious than COVID-19 and is containable particularly when prompt care is sought for symptoms,” Perella added. “Vaccine to prevent or lessen the severity of illness is available through the CDC for high-risk contacts of persons infected with monkeypox, as is antiviral treatment for patients with monkeypox. I believe that residents and visitors should feel safe to do all the fun things Philadelphia has to offer, with the proper precautions.”
The CDC has confirmed monkeypox cases in 10 states so far, not including states that have pending confirmation. The state of Georgia announced its first CDC-confirmed case on Thursday.
A man in Massachusetts had the first confirmed U.S. monkeypox case after traveling to Canada in the middle of last month. That came following several confirmed cases throughout Europe.
The CDC urges anyone who has a rash that looks like monkeypox to speak with their health care provider and warns that men who have sex with men may be at higher risk, though notes that any person who comes in close contact with someone with monkeypox can become infected.