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Mpox virus continues to spread, driven by China’s community transmission 

Three people have died and 1,020 newly confirmed cases of mpox were reported globally to the WHO during the last 21 days, according to a statement.

HQ Team

August 15, 2023: Three people have died and 1,020 newly confirmed cases of mpox were reported globally to the WHO during the last 21 days, according to a statement.

Transmission of monkeypox virus continued at a low level in most of the countries reporting cases, and the main epidemiological and clinical characteristics of cases remained stable. 

As of 9 August 2023, 15 of the 113 affected countries have reported new cases. A significant increase in cases has been observed in the Western Pacific Region, driven by sustained community transmission in China. 

“Based on information shared with WHO, the main demographic characteristics of cases in China are similar to those of the global outbreak. All individuals involved are adult males, primarily consisting of men who have sex with men.” 

152 cumulative deaths

From 1 January 2022, through 9 August 2023, a cumulative total of 89, 308 laboratory-confirmed cases of mpox, including 152 deaths, have been reported to WHO from 113 countries in all six WHO Regions.

The global health agency has given a “moderate” score for global risk assessment in the African Region, the Eastern Mediterranean Region, the European Region, the Region of the Americas, the Southeast Asia region, and the Western Pacific Region.

Trinidad and Tobago, has reported its first three mpox cases. In the last two weeks, reported cases have increased in the Western Pacific, European and American regions.

Rash, fever

A batch report of July with 491 new cases in China was reported and is currently not reflected in the epidemiological trend analysis.

Of all reported modes of transmission, since the start of the outbreak, skin and mucosal contact during sex has been the most reported, in 16, 587 of 20 209 or 82.1% of the reported transmission events.

Among cases where at least one symptom was reported, the most common manifestation was rash, (90.1% of cases), followed by fever (55.2%), and systemic rash or genital rash (54.0% and 47.6% respectively).

 About 52% of cases in this outbreak have been reported to be in people living with HIV. 

Health workers

Global mpox surveillance data from January 1, 2022 to 9 August 2023, have shown that among cases with available information, 4.8% are health workers. 

Of those for whom transmission details are available, sexual contact, with 66%, is the predominant mode.

WHO recommended primary preventive (pre-exposure) vaccination for individuals at high risk of exposure such as health workers at risk for repeated exposure and post-exposure. 

The agency suggested preventive vaccination for contacts of cases ideally within four days of first exposure, and up to 14 days in the absence of symptoms.

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