Epidemiology of Human Mpox - Worldwide, 2018-2021.MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2023 Jan 20; 72(3):68-72.MM
Monkeypox (mpox) is a zoonotic disease caused by Monkeypox virus (MPXV), an Orthopoxvirus; the wild mammalian reservoir species is not known. There are two genetic clades of MPXV: clade I and clade II (historically found in central and west Africa, respectively), with only Cameroon reporting both clades (1). Human cases have historically been reported from 1) mostly rural, forested areas in some central and west African countries; 2) countries reporting cases related to population migration or travel of infected persons; and 3) exposure to imported infected mammals (2). The annual number of cases in Africa has risen since 2014 and cumulatively surpassed reports from the previous 40 years for most countries. This reemergence of mpox might be due to a combination of environmental and ecological changes, animal or human movement, the cessation of routine smallpox vaccination since its eradication in 1980, improvements in disease detection and diagnosis, and genetic changes in the virus (2). This report describes the epidemiology of mpox since 1970 and during 2018-2021, using data from national surveillance programs, World Health Organization (WHO) bulletins, and case reports, and addresses current diagnostic and treatment challenges in countries with endemic disease. During 2018-2021, human cases were recognized and confirmed in six African countries, with most detected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Nigeria. The reemergence and increase in cases resulted in its being listed in 2019 as a priority disease for immediate and routine reporting through the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response strategy in the WHO African region.* In eight instances, patients with mpox were identified in four countries outside of Africa after travel from Nigeria. Since 2018, introductory and intermediate training courses on prevention and control of mpox for public health and health care providers have been available online at OpenWHO.†,§ The global outbreak that began in May 2022¶ has further highlighted the need for improvements in laboratory-based surveillance and access to treatments and vaccines to prevent and contain the infection, including in areas of Africa with endemic mpox.