Why the mpox outbreak only lasted 6 months: 3 notes for future infection crises

The highly infectious mpox virus, formerly called monkeypox, was declared a public health emergency in August and ended Jan. 31 thanks to an aggressive, highly coordinated public response, ABC News reported Feb. 2.

In August, more than 450 people tested positive every day, with more than 30,000 cases and 28 deaths. The disease was primarily spread by skin-to-skin contact among sexual networks and was on track to become the next pandemic, according to the report. The public health emergency ended Jan. 31.

"Mpox is a success story of conquering an outbreak," Peter Chin-Hong, MD, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, told ABC.

Experts attribute the following to ending the outbreak:

  • Rapid deployment of vaccines and treatments: Thanks to the smallpox vaccine, an mpox vaccine was produced rapidly. With limited supplies, the government public health officials made the controversial decision to split a single dose into multiple doses to maximize the effectiveness with much success.

  • Aggressive public awareness campaigns leveraging trusted voices in the LGBTQ community.

  • Public outreach and education.

Experts warn that the virus hasn't been eradicated and could return.

"I think mpox generally provides a great playbook of how to deal with an outbreak: the alignment of science and politics needed, a national a local strategy that was implemented and having strong and unified consistent messaging that is empathic and specific," Dr. Chin-Hong added.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars