CDC warns of mpox resurgence

The CDC is warning of a possible mpox resurgence after a deadlier version of the infection has "ravaged" the Democratic Republic of Congo, The New York Times reported May 16.

There are two main types of mpox: Clade I, the current dominant type in Congo, and Clade II, which caused the 2022 global outbreak. Both clades have circulated in Africa for decades with sporadic outbreaks. Clade I has a mortality of roughly 5%, compared to less than 0.2% for Clade IIb, which spurred the U.S. outbreak.

Although there have been no cases of Clade I outside of Africa so far, the escalating epidemic poses a global threat, experts told the Times, just as infection in Nigeria set off the 2022 outbreak.

Mpox is showing signs of resurgence in the U.S. with the number of cases this year nearly double the tally of cases from the same period last year. The CDC is encouraging high-risk Americans to become vaccinated before the resurgence hits in force and is urging clinicians to be alert for possible cases in travelers from Congo.

Adults in Congo tend to be infected with mpox through animals or close, sustained contact with infected people, but for the first time last year, scientists discovered sexually transmitted Clade I mpox among sex workers and their contacts.

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