Chicago urges caution over monkeypox at rallies as US cases climb to top 70

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U.S. monkeypox and orthopoxvirus cases topped 70 on Wednesday, as city officials in Chicago, Illinois, warned residents to exercise caution about transmission.

In a statement, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) said Monday it continues to investigate reports of cases among residents and asks people to take appropriate precautions when in spaces or situations , the virus could be spread through close or intimate contact.

The state of Illinois has confirmed eight cases, including seven in Chicago. Some of the cases involve people who have recently traveled from Europe.

CDPH said it continues to work closely with the state health department and other local public health departments to identify other potential cases.

MONKEYPOX INFECTIONS IN US RISE TO 65

“While the risk in Chicago remains low, CDPH wants the public to be able to make informed choices about gathering in spaces or attending events where monkeypox could be spread through close or intimate contact,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of CDPH, said in a statement.

CDPH works with summer event organizers to share information and encourage safety messages.

“People attending festivals or other summer events should consider the degree of close, personal, skin-to-skin contact likely to occur at the events they plan to attend. If anyone feels ill or has rashes or sores, the CDPH recommends not attending a gathering, and visiting a health care provider as soon as possible,” he said.

California and New York have both reported 15 cases each since the outbreak began in the United States

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The seaside states of Hawaii and Florida have five each and Colorado and Massachusetts have four, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Utah, Georgia, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia have all reported two cases.

Arizona, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and Washington State all have one.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday it would move to rename the monkeypox virus after a group of scientists raised concerns the name could be stigmatising.

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World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters the agency would convene an emergency meeting next week to determine whether the spread of monkeypox should be considered a public health emergency in the world.

Although the majority of new cases of monkeypox have been seen in gay or bisexual men, experts warn that anyone is potentially at risk.

Fox News’ Paul Best contributed to this report.

Sara H. Byrd