Cook County Health is offering Mpox vaccination, screening and treatment at several health centers by appointment.
Mpox is a contagious disease caused by the monkeypox virus.
Anyone can get mpox, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. Most of the current cases in the U.S. are occurring in social networks of men who have sex with men and individuals with multiple or anonymous sex partners. However, it is not limited to these individuals.
Mpox is not as contagious as COVID-19 or the flu. The risk of spread is highest during oral sex, anal sex, vaginal sex, and other intimate contact such as hugging, kissing, cuddling and massage.
The mpox virus is most often spread through:
- Direct, prolonged contact with a rash or sores of someone who has the virus
- Coming in contact with clothing, bedding or other items used by the person with the virus
- Respiratory droplets passed through prolonged face-to-face contact over several hours
Cook County Health offers mpox vaccination, testing and treatment for patients and community members. Appointments are required.
Offering vaccination, testing and treatment for community members by appointment.
2020 W. Harrison St., Chicago, IL 60612
Phone Number: 312-572-4500, and press 0 to reach the operator
Current CCH patients are encouraged to call 312-864-0200 or their primary care medical home to make an appointment with their doctor for testing or vaccination.
Symptoms usually start within two weeks after exposure, but may not appear for up to 21 days.
- Muscle or back aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Rash or sores
- A rash may appear all over the body or only certain parts, including the face, hands, feet or around or in the mouth, genital area or anus.
These symptoms can occur before or at the same time as the rash or sores.
Recent cases have been mild. Most people got better on their own and were not hospitalized. The disease, however, can sometimes be more severe. Even with mild illness, the rash and sores may be itchy and painful and last for two to four weeks.
A person is contagious until all sores have healed and a new layer of skin has formed, which can take two to four weeks. A person with mpox should stay away from other people until their sores are fully healed.
If You Have Symptoms
If you start experiencing symptoms or have been in contact with someone with confirmed mpox, isolate from others immediately and call your doctor.
Your health care provider will review your symptoms and decide if you need to get tested for mpox. Results of lab tests may take three or four days, so if your doctor thinks you have mpox, they will tell you to isolate at home until the results come back. To keep others from catching mpox, you should isolate at home, away from other family members and pets. Cats and dogs can catch mpox. If you test negative, your doctor may tell you that you can leave isolation.
HIV and other conditions that weaken your immune system; and a history of atopic dermatitis or eczema may increase the risk of severe disease if you are infected. If you have symptoms and one of these conditions, it is especially important to see a provider right away.
If you do not have a health care provider, call Cook County Health at 312-864-0200.
The JYNNEOS vaccine has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the prevention of mpox in people ages 18 and older.
The vaccine is currently recommended for anyone who:
- Is a sexually active gay, bisexual and or other same gender-loving man or transgender individual
- Is eligible for or currently takes HIV-PrEP
- Lives with HIV
- Has had skin-to-skin or intimate contact with someone diagnosed with MPV
- Exchanges goods or services for sex
Chicago residents can find mpox information and vaccination sites here: https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/cdph/supp_info/health-protection/get-the-facts-monkeypox.html
Suburban Cook County residents can find mpox information and vaccination sites here: https://cookcountypublichealth.org/communicable-diseases/monkeypox/
There is no specific treatment approved for mpox and most people get better on their own. However, antiviral medications used to treat smallpox may help those with severe mpox disease. If you test positive, your health care provider will help you find out if you are eligible for antiviral treatment.
To reduce your chance of getting and spreading mpox:
- Do not have sex or close physical contact if you or your partner feel sick and have a new or unexpected rash or sore.
- If you are sick and have a new unexpected rash or sore, avoid parties or gatherings until you have talked to a health care provider.
- If you choose to have sex while sick, avoid kissing and other face-to-face contact. Cover all sores with clothing or sealed bandages. This may help reduce — but not eliminate — the risk of transmission.
- Wash your hands, sex toys and bedding before and after sex or other intimate activities.
- If you are come into regular contact with someone who has mpox, regularly clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub, especially after contact with the person who is infected, their clothes, bed sheets, towels and other items or surfaces they have touched or that might have come into contact with their rash or respiratory secretions (e.g., utensils, dishes).
- Wash the person’s clothes, towels, bedsheets, and eating utensils with warm water and detergent. Clean and disinfect any contaminated surfaces and dispose of contaminated waste (e.g., dressings) appropriately.
Last updated: 5/10/23