It is not the spike we saw final summer season, but instances of mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, have ticked up in Chicago in the final couple of weeks.
“Since the final week in April, we’ve observed about 5 to eight instances per week of mpox getting diagnosed,” mentioned Dr. Elizabeth Davis, Healthcare Director of Neighborhood Well being Equity at RUSH University Healthcare Center.
That may possibly not look like a lot, but Davis is concerned.
“We know from our knowledge final summer season, that mpox can spread rapidly,” Davis mentioned.
That is why RUSH is fighting mpox on two fronts.
“Prevention and remedy, so I am on the remedy finish,” mentioned Dr. Shivanjali Shankeran, an assistant professor in Infectious Illnesses at RUSH.
RUSH is 1 of 3 Illinois web pages conducting a clinical trial, known as STOMP (Study of Tecovirimat for Human Monkeypox Virus), for a prospective antiviral medication known as tecovirimat.
“It’s an antiviral that had been authorized a couple of years ago for the therapy of smallpox. And so we have now sort of repurposed it to see if it will perform in the therapy of mpox,” Dr. Shankeran mentioned.
Interested individuals may possibly contact 312-563-1345 to take element in the clinical trial.
According to the Chicago Division of Public Well being, far more than half of the current mpox instances have occurred in people today who are totally vaccinated. Preliminarily, most of the instances have been mild.
Dr. Brad Perkins, spent 20 years strategizing against outbreaks for the Centers for Illness Manage and Prevention. He says that information shouldn’t deter higher danger folks from having the two-dose JYNNEOS vaccine to guard against mpox.
“Well, vaccines are not great. And 1 of the points we know about this specific vaccine is that, while it may possibly not avoid the occurrence of illness, it is incredibly probably to lessen the severity of people today that have been vaccinated,” Perkins mentioned.
Perkins is now the Chief Healthcare Officer for Karius, a organization that has created a blood test that they say can detect mpox ahead of skin lesions seem.
“Right now, we are focused on supplying that test to immunocompromised individuals that are hospitalized with suspected infection,” Perkins mentioned.
Currently utilised at RUSH and other Chicago location hospitals, the target is to expand to outpatient clinics in the future.
Meanwhile, the push now is to get people today protected ahead of Pride Month, which begins June 1.
RUSH is supplying vaccine clinics each Friday and also partnering with neighborhood organizations to attain folks who are viewed as higher danger.
“I would suggest any individual who identifies as a gay, bisexual or identical gender loving man, as a transgender person who’s sexually active, or as a person who’s had get in touch with with a person with impacts get vaccinated,” Davis mentioned.
To get tested for mpox or to obtain out if you are eligible for the vaccine, contact RUSH at (888) 352-7874 (RUSH).