May 16, 2023 | 8:28 p.m.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn of the potential resurgence of mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, ahead of summer gatherings.
“The spring and summer season in 2023 could bring a resurgence of mpox as people gather for festivals and other events,” reads a CDC alert released Monday.
The agency said there were 12 confirmed cases and one probable case of mpox reported in the Chicago area between April 17 and May 5.
None of the patients had been hospitalized. All were men.
Nine of the 13 patients had received two doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine, which is intended to prevent smallpox and monkeypox in adults, according to the CDC.
A global outbreak of the viral disease unfolded in the spring of 2022, prompting the United States to declare a health emergency due to its spread.
As of May 10, more than 30,000 cases have been reported in the United States, according to the CDC.
The epidemic peaked at around 460 cases per day in August 2022.
One of the most prominent symptoms is a rash that appears as small, flat bumps on the skin that grow and fill with pus, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Usually, these sores eventually flake off, but it can take two to four weeks.
Not everyone who has the virus will get a rash.
The Cleveland Clinic noted that other symptoms of mpox include fever, swollen lymph nodes, muscle aches and fatigue.
The virus “disproportionately” affects gay and bisexual men and transgender people, the CDC warns.
Women, children and heterosexual men can also get the disease – everyone is susceptible.
Mpox is rarely fatal, but some people can get very sick.
It is usually spread through very close contact with others, such as being intimate and having skin-to-skin contact.
It can also be transmitted through contaminated objects such as bedding or clothing, according to the World Health Organization, which last week declared mpox no longer a global health emergency.
The CDC is urging doctors to encourage vaccination of people at risk of contracting the disease.
Vaccination can help lessen symptoms and the severity of infection, the agency notes.