Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include updated WHO advice on how the virus should be named.
Here is a look at mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, in the United States. In 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. The virus originated in Africa and is a cousin of the smallpox virus.
In November 2022, WHO renamed the monkeypox virus to mpox after working with the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) to rename the virus using a non-stigmatizing, non-offensive social and cultural nomenclature.
(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Mpox is the smallpox virus. This usually causes pimples or blisters, as well as flu-like symptoms such as fever. The disease is rarely fatal.
Mpox is spread through close contact. This includes direct physical contact with the lesions, as well as “respiratory secretions” shared through face-to-face communication and touching objects that have been contaminated with rashes or fluids. The virus can also pass to the fetus through the placenta.
Anyone can get smallpox, but the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 99% of smallpox cases in the US during the 2022 outbreak were among men who have sex with men. However, smallpox is not usually considered a sexually transmitted disease.
Smallpox is commonly found in West and Central Africa, but additional cases have been reported in Europe, including the UK and other parts of the world, in recent years. These cases are usually associated with international travel or the importation of poxvirus-infected animals.
CDC Mpox map and number of cases
1958- Mpox it discovered when monkeys kept for research caused two outbreaks in Copenhagen, Denmark.
1970- V first human case registered in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo).
2003- The outbreak in the US is linked to infected domestic prairie dogs imported from Ghana and resulted in more than 80 cases.
July 16, 2021 – The CDC and local health officials in Dallas announce an investigation into a traveler from Nigeria who contracted smallpox. “This individual is a Dallas resident who traveled from Nigeria to Dallas and arrived at Love Field Airport on July 9, 2021. The person has been hospitalized in Dallas and is in a stable condition,” the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement. in a statement.
May 17, 2022 – First confirmed A case of MPO was reported to the CDC during the 2022 outbreak in the US. from a traveler who returned to Massachusetts from Canada.
May 19, 2022 – The WHO reports that the outbreak has a mortality rate of 3% to 6%.
May 23, 2022 – The CDC announces the release of doses of smallpox vaccine from the country’s National Strategic Stockpile to “high-risk people.” In the United States, the two-dose Jynneos vaccine is licensed for the prevention of smallpox, and specifically for the prevention of smallpox.
May 26, 2022 – CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky announces that the United States is distributing the vaccine in states with reported cases and recommends vaccinating people most at risk of infection due to direct contact with a person who has smallpox.
June 22, 2022 – CDC announces partnership with five commercial labs to expand testing capabilities in the United States.
June 23, 2022 – The first smallpox vaccination clinic in the United States opens in New York.
June 28, 2022 – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Biden administration announce an enhanced vaccination strategy and report that more than 9,000 doses of vaccine have been distributed to date.
July 22, 2022 – Two American children contracted Mpoxoma, the first time in the US. The two cases are unrelated, according to the CDC.
July 23, 2022 – The WHO declares mpox a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, “an extraordinary event that may pose a risk to public health in other countries due to the international spread of the disease and may require an internationally coordinated response.”
July 27, 2022 – More than 786,000 additional doses have become available in the United States after weeks of limited smallpox vaccines, according to HHS.
July 29, 2022 – NY announces State emergency in response to smallpox outbreak.
August 1, 2022 – California and Illinois declare a state of emergency. There are more than 800 cases in California and more than 500 in Illinois, according to the CDC.
August 2, 2022 – IN mpox response team created the Biden administration. President Joe Biden appoints Robert Fenton of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as White House National Nitrous Oxide Response Coordinator.
August 2, 2022 – A report from Spain’s National Institute of Microbiology indicates that two men, aged 31 and 44, who died of smallpox in unrelated cases, developed encephalitis, or swelling of the brain that can be caused by viral infections. Encephalitis is a very rare disease that is known to be associated with smallpox. It was reported in people with smallpox in West Africa and in a patient in the United States in 2003 during a small outbreak involving imported prairie dogs.
August 4, 2022 – The Biden administration declares the smallpox outbreak a public health emergency.
August 5, 2022 – A report released by the CDC states that 94% of the cases were among men who had recently had sexual or close intimate contact with another man. In addition, 54% of cases were among black Americans and Hispanics.
August 9, 2022 – In an attempt to stretch the limited supply of the Jynneos mpox vaccine, federal health officials are allowing smaller doses to be given using a different injection method. The new injection strategy allows healthcare professionals to give shallow injections intradermally, between the layers of the skin, with one-fifth of the standard dose instead of subcutaneously, into the fat layer under the skin, at a higher dose.
August 18, 2022 – The White House announces an accelerated distribution schedule for the HHS vaccine, with an additional 1.8 million doses of Jynneos vaccine available. Additional vaccines will be distributed to communities hosting major LGBTQI+ events.
August 19, 2022 – King Washington County, which includes Seattle, declares mpox a public health emergency with over 270 reported cases.
September 12, 2022 – First US death due to mpox confirmed in Los Angeles County, California.