12/07/2023: Lab Advisory: CDC Issues Health Alert for Mpox Cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

CDC's Laboratory Outreach Communication System (LOCS)

Audience: Clinical Laboratories

Level: Laboratory Advisory

On December 7, 2023, CDC issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) message about the occurrence, geographic spread, and sexually associated human-to-human transmission of Mpox cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This includes an increase in reports of suspected cases (not laboratory confirmed) during 2023 (12,569 cases) compared to previous years (median 3,767 cases from 2016-2021).

Within the DRC, Clade I Monkeypox virus (MPXV) is endemic, and historically has been more transmissible and caused more severe infections than Clade II (the Clade of MPXV that started the global outbreak in 2022). Cases of Clade I MPXV have not been reported in the United States at this time.

Public health authorities are being encouraged to enhance surveillance efforts to aid detection of Clade I MPXV should it occur in the United States. Clinicians and laboratories should be aware of suspect Mpox cases among individuals who have recently traveled to the DRC in the last 21 days. Contact your state public health laboratory to determine if a specimen should be forwarded for additional testing to determine the clade.

For more information, including recommendations for clinicians, public health professionals, and laboratories involved in specimen submission or diagnostic testing, please review the HAN in detail.

We encourage you to share this message widely with your network(s).

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Thank you,

The Laboratory Outreach Communication System

Laboratory Outreach Communication System (LOCS) | Division of Laboratory Systems (DLS)

Center for Laboratory Systems and Response (CLSR)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)