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Market Days organizers use festival to educate, inform about monkeypox


CHICAGO — As thousands flood North Halsted street this weekend for the 40th annual Market Days festival, organizers are lining the street with information about the monkeypox virus.

The festival, whichs runs on Halsted Street from Addison Street to Belmont Avenue, is full of food, live music and shopping. It’s one of the city’s largest festivals uniting the LGBTQ community.

This year an estimated 100,000 people from all over the country are expected to participate in.

And while there’s entertainment on every block, organizers are also emphasizing education about the spread of moneybox. The virus doesn’t discriminate, but according to health experts, it has mainly impacted men who have sex with men.

“We’re educating people from the stages about what the symptoms are so that if you might have been exposed, then you can know and hopefully isolate,” organizer Mark Liberson said.

Liberson said festival goers are being educated about the virus from music stages as well as booths along the festival route. Symptoms can include a mild fever and rash. According to the Chicago Department of Public Health the main way it is currently spreading is through direct contact with a rash or sore on someone infected with the virus.  More information from the city can be found on their website

Although the monkey pox vaccine isn’t widespread yet health experts are providing the vaccine during the festival. Clinicians with Howard Brown Health are offering vaccines.

The festival concludes at 10 p.m. Saturday and resumes at noon on Sunday.


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