Statement from Chicago Department of Public Health on Deaths of Two Chicagoans with Monkeypox

October 21, 2022

CDPH Public Information

CHICAGO – The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) today announced two deaths of Chicago residents caused by this year’s Monkeypox virus (MPV) outbreak.

Both individuals had multiple other health conditions, including weakened immune systems, and received a MPV diagnosis more than six weeks ago, and both had been hospitalized. The deaths of the two adults are unrelated to each other.

“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.

To protect confidentiality and privacy, additional information on these cases – including the hospitals where the patients had been receiving treatment – will not be made public.

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 prevention 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.”

CDPH encourages individuals who meet the eligibility criteria to get two doses of the MPV vaccine 28 days apart. And even after getting vaccinated, CDPH recommends still taking precautions, especially if you are at high risk for severe illness from monkeypox. MPV spreads through close, intimate contact.

CDPH reminds Chicagoans that steps can be taken to prevent MPV. Talk to your healthcare provider about MPV testing and vaccine. If you don’t have a doctor or insurance, contact the HIV/STI Resource Hub at 844.482.4040/ or visit for free or low-cost care. Evaluate your level of risk when making plans or deciding whether to attend certain events (sex parties, saunas, raves, other such events) where your risk of exposure may be increased, especially if people are wearing less clothing. Having sex or other intimate contact with multiple or anonymous people increases your risk of exposure. CDPH advises avoiding close, skin-to-skin contact (kissing, cuddling, hugging, having sex) with people who have any rashes that look like MPV.

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