2023 Outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is having its largest mpox outbreak ever recorded. Since January 1, 2023, DRC has reported 12,569 suspect mpox cases and 581 deaths.

Risk to the United States

There have been no cases of the type of mpox spreading in DRC reported in the United States at this time. The risk to the general public in the U.S. from the type of mpox circulating in the DRC is low.

People in the United States who have already had mpox or are fully vaccinated should be protected against the type of mpox spreading in DRC. Casual contact, such as might occur during travel, is not likely to cause the disease to spread. The best protection against mpox is two doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine.

Situation in DRC

The current outbreak is widespread in DRC, with cases reported in 22 of the DRC’s 26 provinces and in the capital city of Kinshasa and a few other large cities. Because mpox is commonly found in DRC, and cases are often detected; however, DRC is detecting more cases than normal. Some of the infections have been tied to sexual contact, which marks the first reported instances of such transmission with this type of mpox.

CDC has been supporting DRC mpox research and response for more than 20 years.  Currently, CDC staff in DRC has been providing extra technical assistance to the DRC Ministry of Health and working with the World Health Organization (WHO) team on the ground in DRC. CDC has provided laboratory support and additional funds to help provide support for contact tracing and community outreach.