Mpox Outbreaks Continue in 2023
According to new data, the U.S. government and various countries may have prematurely ended their Mpox outbreak activity.
Recent Mpox outbreaks in Chicago, Paris, and Seoul indicated Mpox resurged in 2023.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) forewarned in April 2023 that if Mpox reintroduction occurs and no additional vaccination or sexual behavior adaptations arise, the risk of a Mpox resurgence was greater than 35% in most jurisdictions in the U.S.
Moreover, resurgent Mpox outbreaks could be as large or more extensive as the 2022 outbreak in the U.S., which reached 30,361 cases and 42 related fatalities as of late April 2023.
In Chicago, Illinois, Howard Brown Health confirmed on May 5, 2023, a resurgence in Mpox cases in the Chicago area, with seven cases reported in the last three weeks.
"We urge sexually active members of our community to receive the mpox vaccine. For example, unvaccinated people planning to attend International Mr. Leather at the end of May should receive their first dose of the mpox vaccination as soon as possible," said Dr. Patrick Gibbons, Chief Medical Director, in a press release.
And in South Korea, Yonhap reported on May 4, 2023, sixteen new Mpox cases were confirmed in early May 2023, increasing the country's total to 60 cases this year.
Furthermore, France reported a Mpox outbreak with 17 cases, including Breakthrough cases, since the beginning of 2023 in CentreVal de Loire.
Previously, the World Health Organization (WHO) published specific activities derived from the temporary recommendations issued by the WHO Director-General about the multi-country outbreak of Mpox following the fourth meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on February 15, 2023.
The WHO wrote, 'With significant Mpox transmission still occurring in endemic and newly affected countries, it is likely that new localized or dispersed outbreaks may occur."
"The risk of resurgence in previously affected groups will be further compounded as large and mass-gathering events that involve elements of sexual contact commence again in Spring 2023.'
Mpox is an infectious disease caused by the Mpox virus, an orthopoxvirus that can spread from person to person through close contact, including sexual contact.
As of May 8, 2023, Mpox vaccines and oral treatments remain available in most cities in the U.S. However, the therapeutic benefits are being evaluated in various research studies.