CDC Raises Alarm Over Spread of Deadlier Mpox Strain

CDC Raises Alarm Over Spread of Deadlier Mpox Strain
CDC Raises Alarm Over Spread of Deadlier Mpox Strain. Credit | REUTERS

United States: The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in central Africa, is dealing with a record number of mpox cases, driven by a strain of the virus that has a greater fatality rate than the variation that spread to Europe and America.

Call for Global Intervention

Experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated in a report released on Thursday that it is critical to contain the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and bring it under control.

The propagation of the deadly mpox clade I strain According to a team led by CDC research scientist Christina Hutson, the findings “raises concerns that the virus could spread to other countries and underscores the importance of coordinated, urgent global action to support DRC’s efforts to contain the virus.”

Clade II was the name of the mpox (formerly called monkeypox) strain that traveled from Africa to Europe and North America two years ago.

Lethal Strain Emerges

According to the multiple studies, this illness could be severe sometimes and also painful and the death rates varies from 0.1 percent to 3.6 percent, but clade 1 m pox is lethal and deaths have ranged from 1.4 percent to 10 percent of the patients, Hutson’s team noted that.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reports “multiple provincial outbreaks” between April 14, 2024, and the beginning of 2023. The estimated total of cases and deaths from the continuing clade I mpox outbreak is 19,919, with 975 deaths, or roughly one in every 20 patients.

Extent of Outbreak

The CDC team observed that “clade I mpox cases were reported from 25 of 26 provinces and, for the first time, from the capital city of Kinshasa” in 2023 and 2024, making this outbreak possibly the most extensive to date.

Children are particularly at risk: According to the study, “two thirds (67%) of suspected cases and more than three quarters (78%) of suspected deaths have occurred in persons aged 15 years [or younger].”

Transmission Risks

Mpox is contracted by intimate physical touch. As this usually entails skin-to-skin contact, having intercourse can frequently be a transmission method. Fever, chills, tiredness, headache, and muscle weakness are common early symptoms. A rash with lesions that scab over and gradually heal over several weeks is frequently the next sign.

While anybody can contract mpox, men who engage in male-to-male intercourse are especially susceptible, and individuals living with HIV are more susceptible to severe illness.

“In two outbreaks [in the DRC], sexual transmission of clade I MPXV was reported among men-who-have-sex-with-men and both male and female sex workers and their contacts,” according to the investigators.

Animal Origins

The mpox virus is indigenous to Africa and can be transmitted to people through contact with animals like monkeys. Data from the most recent DRC outbreak “suggests that outbreaks involve multiple introductions from animal hosts within DRC,” according to Hutson’s team interpretation.

Vaccination Efforts

Fortunately, there is a vaccination against mpox, known as Jynneos. The two doses of the regimen are administered around a month apart.
The CDC team stated that the organization has been assisting the DRC in combating mpox epidemics for a considerable amount of time.

“CDC’s support for DRC’s mpox-related activities during the last 15 years has included establishing laboratory testing and training, supporting diagnostic testing and genetic sequencing, conducting Jynneos vaccine clinical research, and training frontline health care workers,” according to Hutson’s team.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here