Mpox Outbreak 2023

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Last reviewed
June 2, 2023
Content Overview
Mpox outbreaks continue in June 2023, in Africa, the Americas, Chicago, France, Japan, South Korea, Spain. Mpox vaccines are available.

Mpox Outbreaks June 2023

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) noted that the first Mpox specimen was identified through retrospective testing in the United Kingdom on March 7, 2022. In addition, about 111 countries have reported over 87,000 laboratory-confirmed cases of Mpox, including 130 related fatalities since a global outbreak began in May 2022 following an event held in the Canary Islands. As a result, the WHO Director-General declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) regarding Mpox virus (MPXV) outbreaks on July 23, 2022. The WHO announced the PHEIC ended on May 11, 2023,

In the U.S., an initial Mpox outbreak was declared in August 2022. On October 27, 2022, the Mpox public health emergency in San Francisco ended, followed by New York City in November 2022. And on January 31, 2023, the U.S. HHS did not renew the public health emergency declaration for Mpox, given the low number of cases in 2023. 

During 2023, Mpox outbreaks have been identified in Chicago, NetherlandsParis (France), Seoul (South Korea), Tokyo (Japan), and the United Kingdom. On May 26, 2023, a study forecasted about 592,000 men live in jurisdictions with risk for mpox recurrences capable of sustained transmission if a cluster of infectious cases were reintroduced.

Mpox United States 2023

And the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data as of May 31, 2023, indicate 30,450 mpox cases and 42 related fatalities since May 2022. The CDC MMWR Domestic Mpox Response — United States, 2022–2023previously published on May 19, 2023, disclosed Black and Hispanic persons represented 33% and 31% of cases, respectively; 87% of 42 fatal cases occurred in Black persons. And the CDC's Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) call on May 18, 2023, presented Mpox Update: Stay Up to Date on Testing, Treatment, and Vaccination. Furthermore, the CDC issued a Health Update on May 15, 2023, regarding Mpox vaccination breakthrough cases, and the CDC disclosed Mpox wastewater detections and Non-Variola Orthopoxvirus Laboratory Testing as of May 2023.

Mpox Africa

The first human case of Mpox was identified in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1970. The WHO agreed that Clade II consists of 2 subclades, Clade IIa, and Clade IIb. Each of the clades and subclades subdivides into multiple lineages. Africa's CDC confirmed since the beginning of 2022, a total of 2,031 cases (250 confirmed; 1,781 suspected) and 75 deaths (CFR: 3.7%) of monkeypox had been reported by nine endemic and two non-endemic countries as of July 25, 2022. Only the Central African Republic, the DRC, Ghana, Liberia, and Nigeria countries have reported mpox cases in 2023.

The CDC issued Level 1 travel advisories in 2021 to alert international travelers regarding Mpox outbreaks in African countries, such as Nigeria.

Mpox China

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China recorded its fifth Mpox patient since September 2022.

Mpox Europe

The ECDC published a report on public health considerations for Mpox in EU/EEA countries in May 2023. In addition, a study published by the International Journal of Infectious Diseases on May 15, 2023, shows considerably more mpox DNA in wastewater samples than expected based on hospitalization data, suggesting the mpox outbreak was underestimated in central Europe.

Mpox France

Public Health France reported 17 confirmed Mpox cases in the Centre-Val de Loire region in April 2023.

Mpox Japan

The Western Pacific Region reported additional Mpox cases in early April 2023, driven by an outbreak of Mpox affecting mainly men in Japan.

Mpox Pakistan

Local media reported on April 27, 2023, Pakistan health officials detected three additional suspected cases of Mpox in travelers from abroad. In total, Pakistan has confirmed five Mpox cases.

Mpox U.K.

The U.K. Health Services Agency (UKHSA) began reporting Mpox cases in early May 2022. Through December 2022, 3,732 confirmed and highly probable mpox cases were reported in the UK. Of these, 3,553 were in England, 34 were in Northern Ireland, 97 were in Scotland, and 48 were in Wales. In 2023 (up to 24 May 2023), a further 20 cases of mpox were reported in the UK. Of these, 19 were in England. Between 2018 and 2021, there were seven cases of mpox in the UK. Of these, four were imported. There was no documented community transmission in previous outbreaks.

The UKHSA published that the Mpox clade of monkeypox predominantly circulating in the U.K. (Clade IIb, B.1 lineage) is no longer classified as a High Consequence of Infectious Disease (HCID). 

Mpox South Korea

The Yonhap News Agency reported the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) in May 2023, South Korean Mpox total cases reached 60.

Mpox Spain

According to the Carlos III Health Institute, six cases of mpox have been diagnosed in Spain in May 2023, and 56 since the beginning of 2023, and 7,555 since the mpox outbreak began in May 2022. The Vall d'Hebron (Barcelona, vaccinated against smallpox in childhood) and Ramón y Cajal (Madrid) hospitals diagnosed two patients in May 2023 who had already had the infection before.

Mpox in Women

Eurosurveillance published a study on December 1, 2022, on Mpox infections in 158 women. In Spain, 7,393 confirmed cases of Mpox, 2.1% of cases (158) have been in women diagnosed between Apr 26 and Nov 21, 2022. The average age of female patients was 34 years, and two were pregnant at the time of Mpox infection. The most likely transmission mechanism was close contact during sexual relationships. 

Mpox Disease

The Mpox virus, a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae, causes mpox. The mpox virus has identified two distinct genetic clades of the Congo Basin and the West African clades. According to the WHO, the Mpox virus is transmitted from one person to another by contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets, and contaminated material.

Mpox Vaccines and Treatments

Various Mpox vaccines (JYNNEOS®) and treatments (TPOXX) are authorized in 2023.

Mpox Testing

The Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox and can be detected by diagnostic testing. Visit Monkeypox Testing for more information.

Mpox Clinical Research

Numerous research studies have clinically reviewed the current monkeypox outbreak.