CDC – Monkeypox Surge in the Congo Raises Concerns About Global Spread

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The increasing number of suspected clade I mpox virus cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) poses a global threat for potential spread, the CDC said.

From Jan. 1, 2023 to April 14, 2024, multiple outbreaks of clade I mpox occurred across 25 of the DRC’s 26 provinces, with nearly 20,000 suspected cases and 975 deaths, reported Jennifer McQuiston, DVM, of the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, and colleagues in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reportopens in a new tab or window.

Half of those cases occurred in the Equateur province, with a case fatality rate of 5.7% compared with 4.3% for the rest of the country.

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“In light of the 2022 global outbreak of clade II mpox, the increase in suspected clade I cases in DRC raises concerns that the virus could spread to other countries and underscores the importance of coordinated, urgent global action to support DRC’s efforts to contain the virus,” McQuiston and team wrote.

Of the two distinct mpox subtypes, clade I causes more severe illness than the clade II subtype and may be more transmissible. To date, no clade I cases have been reported in the U.S. or outside of the countries of Central Africa where the virus is endemic.

Notably, 67% of suspected cases and 78% of deaths from mpox in the DRC during 2023 and 2024 have occurred in children and adolescents ages 15 years and younger, while children ages 12 to 59 months have accounted for 28% of all suspected cases. In some provinces, including Equateur, most of the cases (69%) have occurred in children and adolescents, but in other provinces, people over the age of 15 have accounted for most cases (69%).

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h/t A Deplorable Neanderthal

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