Mpox transmission stays low globally, with mixed regional patterns

Red mpox viruses

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Global mpox transmission continues at low levels, though two regions—Southeast Asia and Africa—reported increases in recent weeks, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in its latest update on the outbreak.

Since the last update on May 26, 552 new cases have been reported, reflecting a slight rise of 0.6%. Also, the WHO received reports of four more related deaths.

Upticks in 3 world regions

Over the past 3 weeks, the Americas reported the most cases, and in the most recent reporting week, increased cases were reported in the European and South East Asia regions.

Europe's cases were reported from Spain and the United Kingdom, and Southeast Asia's were reported from Thailand. The WHO included the caveat that though some of the cases were reported last week, some were diagnosed earlier and reflect a delay in reporting.

In Africa, where transmission is more continuous, a surge of cases have been reported in the most recent weeks, especially in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Nigeria.

In its report, the WHO also included information about preventing disease and staying safe during Pride month in June, given that the outbreak has disproportionately affected gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, as well as transgender and gender-diverse people. For example, the agency urged celebrants and participants before the event to stay up to date on the latest information from trusted sources and to talk to healthcare providers about being vaccinated.

Minnesota reports first 2023 cases; China notes more detections

In other mpox developments, Minnesota reported its first mpox patients of 2023, both of them adults from Hennepin County, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Hennepin County includes Minneapolis.

The latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show no major increase in mpox cases, with the country currently averaging less than five cases a day.

Wastewater surveillance shows no major hot spots, with 84% of sites reporting no mpox detections over the last 4 weeks. Only one site had consistent detection, and two had intermittent detections.

Elsewhere, China reported two more mpox cases, both involving men from the city of Guangzhou in Guangdong province, according to the Global Times, which cited provincial health officials. A few days earlier, two mpox cases were reported from Beijing, one an imported case and the other a close contact of the imported case.

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