CDC Warns of Mpox Threat as Outbreaks Spread in the DRC

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More than 19,000 people have been infected with the Mpox virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) between January 1, 2023 and April 14, 2024. The virus has also mutated to become more contagious since the last major outbreaks in 2022. The uncontrolled viral spread combined with the new mutations have raised concerns among infectious disease experts that the virus could reach the US. In 2022 the US experienced Mpox outbreaks resulting in over 32,000 illnesses and 58 deaths. So far, the virus has primarily affected gay and bisexual men, male and female sex workers, and people who come into contact with contaminated surfaces. The CDC recommends that these groups – at higher risk of mpox infections – get the mpox vaccine as soon as possible. The virus mainly spreads through exposure to bodily fluids and items that are contaminated with bodily fluids of an infected person.

 Mpox is genetically related to smallpox and causes similar symptoms. An individual experiencing an mpox infection may have a fever, swollen lymph nodes, and rash. In rare cares people can suffer severe health problems such as like pneumonia, problems swallowing, malnutrition and dehydration. Some individuals face a greater risk of severe complications, specifically people with a compromised immune system, children less than 12 months old, and those who have a history of eczema.

Full Story: Forbes, New York Times