Dr. Sameer Vohra took over the Illinois Department of Public Health earlier this month. (WTTW News)

Dr. Sameer Vohra took over the Illinois Department of Public Health earlier this month.

This electron microscope image shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, from a human skin sample associated with a 2003 prairie dog outbreak. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery / CDC)

By declaring the state a disaster area for the disease, the Illinois Department of Public Health will be able to more quickly coordinate the agency’s response to the spread of the virus and distribute vaccines more efficiently, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

This electron microscope image shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, from a human skin sample associated with a 2003 prairie dog outbreak. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery / CDC)

“While we are pleased to be receiving these additional doses, we simply need more vaccine in Chicago,” said Dr. Alison Arwady, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Dr. Sameer Vohra (Credit: Office of Gov. J.B. Pritzker)
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Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday that he has appointed pediatrician Dr. Sameer Vohra to lead the state health department starting Aug. 1.

This electron microscope image shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, from a human skin sample associated with a 2003 prairie dog outbreak. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery / CDC)

People identified as close contacts to someone suspected or confirmed with monkeypox are being offered the vaccine, as well as treatment with antiviral medication for those with more severe illness, according to city health officials.

This electron microscope image shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, from a human skin sample associated with a 2003 prairie dog outbreak. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery / CDC)

Nine cases of monkeypox have been detected in Chicago while one case has been identified in DuPage County, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. 

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady speaks Thursday, May 26, 2022. (WTTW News)

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

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady speaks Thursday, May 26, 2022. (WTTW News)

The first probable case of the rare disease was discovered on Wednesday in a man who recently returned to Chicago from Europe, according to a statement from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Chicago Department of Public Health.

(valelopardo/ Pixabay)

Of the nine children under investigation for severe hepatitis, two-thirds tested positive for a common virus that causes cold or flu-like illness, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

(Andrés Rodríguez / Pixabay)

Starting June 1, people who test positive for COVID-19 will receive an automated text message from the Illinois Department of Public Health directing individuals to resources.

(WTTW News)

Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is no longer required in most public spaces, but some establishments still require it. What should you do if you’ve legally changed your name since getting the jab? Here’s what you need to know.

(WTTW News)

Health officials see potential future uses for surveillance beyond COVID-19

Fewer than half of Illinois’ 102 counties are participating in a statewide program that monitors the virus that causes COVID-19 and its variants in wastewater. But state health officials say the participating 68 wastewater treatment plants in 48 counties covers more than 80% of Illinois’ population.

(valelopardo/ Pixabay)

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Monday announced it has learned about three suspected cases of severe hepatitis in children under 10 that are potentially linked to a strain of the adenovirus. 

(WTTW News)

State health officials adopt new COVID-19 reporting guidelines

Most of Illinois is experiencing low levels of community transmission of COVID-19, but with case rates slowly rising, state health officials are sharing tips for how residents can prevent infection.

(StockSnap / Pixabay)

State Contact Tracing Surge Center Handling Bulk of Cases

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, city and county officials hired hundreds of contact tracers to help stop the spread of the coronavirus as the sheer number of cases overwhelmed local health departments. But as the coronavirus pandemic enters an endemic phase, contact tracing will become more targeted, according to officials.

Family members wearing masks walk along the sidewalk in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on Thursday, May 7, 2020. (WTTW News)

Indoor mask mandates for the city of Chicago and state of Illinois are ending Monday. But don’t leave home without one – you’ll still need it in some places. Here’s what you need to know.