It is not the spike we saw final summer time, but situations of mpox, formerly named monkeypox, have ticked up in Chicago in the final handful of weeks.
“Since the final week in April, we’ve observed about 5 to eight situations per week of mpox becoming 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 expertise final summer time, that mpox can spread promptly,” 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 Ailments at RUSH.
RUSH is a single of 3 Illinois internet sites conducting a clinical trial, named STOMP (Study of Tecovirimat for Human Monkeypox Virus), for a prospective antiviral medication named tecovirimat.
“It’s an antiviral that had been authorized a handful of years ago for the remedy of smallpox. And so we have now sort of repurposed it to see if it will function in the remedy of mpox,” Dr. Shankeran mentioned.
Interested individuals may possibly contact 312-563-1345 to take component in the clinical trial.
According to the Chicago Division of Public Well being, additional than half of the current mpox situations have occurred in persons who are completely vaccinated. Preliminarily, most of the situations 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 people from having the two-dose JYNNEOS vaccine to defend against mpox.
“Well, vaccines are not ideal. And a single of the points we know about this certain vaccine is that, even though it may possibly not avert the occurrence of illness, it is quite most likely to lessen the severity of persons that have been vaccinated,” Perkins mentioned.
Perkins is now the Chief Healthcare Officer for Karius, a enterprise that has created a blood test that they say can detect mpox just before skin lesions seem.
“Right now, we are focused on supplying that test to immunocompromised individuals that are hospitalized with suspected infection,” Perkins mentioned.
Currently made use of at RUSH and other Chicago region hospitals, the objective is to expand to outpatient clinics in the future.
Meanwhile, the push now is to get persons protected ahead of Pride Month, which begins June 1.
RUSH is supplying vaccine clinics every single Friday and also partnering with neighborhood organizations to attain people who are viewed as higher danger.
“I would suggest any individual who identifies as a gay, bisexual or similar gender loving man, as a transgender person who’s sexually active, or as somebody who’s had speak to with somebody 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).