By SDCN Staff
Chicago, IL–The Chicago Department of Public Health Friday confirmed two deaths of Chicago residents caused by the Monkeypox virus (MPV) outbreak.
The two adults had prior multiple health conditions, including weakened immune systems, and received an MPV diagnosis more than six weeks ago. Both had been hospitalized. Their deaths are unrelated to each other, the public health agency said in a news release.
“Our hearts go out to these individuals’ families and friends,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “Though the number of new MPV cases has declined substantially since summer, this is a stark reminder that MPV is dangerous and can cause serious illness, and in very rare cases, even death.
Death from MPV remains extremely rare. Among more than 75,000 MPV cases reported globally in the 2022 outbreak, there have been 32 reported deaths, according to the World Health Organization.
“The vast majority of people with MPV who died have had other health conditions along with MPV causing severely weakened immune systems,” said Dr. Arwady. “Please continue to take it seriously. If you’re at risk of MPV infection, take preventive steps and get vaccinated to protect yourself and your loved ones. These measures are especially important if you have comorbidities and/or a weakened immune system.”
Public health officials encourage individuals who meet the eligibility criteria to get two doses of the MPV vaccine 28 days apart. And even after getting vaccinated, they recommend taking precautions, especially if an individual is at high risk for severe illness from monkeypox. MPV spreads through close, intimate contact.