Infectious Disease

A timeline of the 2022 mpox outbreak

December 28, 2022

3 min read

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Mpox spread around the globe in 2022, popping up in 110 countries — including 103 that had not historically reported the disease, according to CDC tracking.

There were more than 83,000 reported cases globally as of Dec. 21, with nearly 30,000 of those cases occurring in the United States.

Monkeypox_Micro_CDC

Mpox outbreaks occurred in 2022 in more than countries that had no historic reporting of the disease. Source: Adobe Stock

By the time US officials declared it a public health emergency, cases were climbing by as many as 2,000 per week. As public health agencies adapted to the outbreaks, fractional doses of the vaccines and vast outreach efforts stemmed the tide of new cases.

Below is a timeline of the global outbreak using selected stories from Healio’s coverage.

US, other countries report new cases of monkeypox

In May, the CDC confirmed the first US case of mpox this year in a Massachusetts resident who had traveled from Canada. At the time, cases of the disease had already popped up in other nonendemic countries, including the United Kingdom. read more

Monkeypox outbreak grows, may have been smoldering ‘for some time’

Within a month, the outbreak had spread to at least nine US states and 30 countries, totaling more than 500 cases. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, MSc, said the sudden appearance of the disease in so many countries suggested that transmission may have been ongoing “for some time.” read more

Waning smallpox immunity ‘established landscape’ for monkeypox resurgence

In February, before outbreaks of mpox were reported in the US and other countries, researchers suggested there was an increased number of cases that had not been reported. Waning immunity to smallpox, they warned, could lead an mpox resurgence. read more

Large monkeypox study identifies new symptoms

A study of mpox cases in 16 countries revealed new symptoms of the infection, with sexual activity suspected as the cause of 95% of infections during 2022 outbreaks. read more

Monkeypox declaration ‘clearly the right decision,’ expert says

In July, Tedros declared the global mpox outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on his own after an emergency committee failed to unanimously make a decision on the declaration. read more

US declares monkeypox a public health emergency

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra followed on Aug. 4 by declaring the mpox outbreak a public health emergency in the US as the case count surpassed 6,600 — an increase of roughly 2,000 cases in a single week. read more

US allows fractional dosing of monkeypox vaccine to extend supply

The FDA soon issued an emergency use authorization for fractional dosing of the Jynneos vaccine after FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, MD, said the nation’s supply had not been able to keep pace with the US outbreak, which at that point had grown to nearly 9,000 cases. read more

Texas reports first US death in person with monkeypox

An adult in Texas, at the end of August, was the first US death of a person infected with mpox during the 2022 outbreak. The patient was “severely immunocompromised” when they died. read more

CDC launches monkeypox vaccine equity program

As new mpox cases in the US dropped by half in September after a peak in August, the CDC launched an equity program targeting smaller LGBTQ events and gatherings after the success of a similar program aimed at larger gatherings. read more

‘Rectal pain, perianal lesions’ linked to monkeypox as outbreak exceeds 60,000 cases

Researchers found that people with mpox during had primarily genital, anal and oral mucosal lesions, with patients commonly reporting penile swelling and rectal pain among symptoms, which had not previously been widely described in the literature. read more

Monkeypox worse for those with weakened immune systems, HIV, new data show

Data in one analysis collected between August and October indicated that 47 of 57 patients hospitalized with severe mpox had HIV infection, most of whom were male, more than two-thirds of whom were non-Hispanic Black and nearly one-quarter of whom were homeless . read more

WHO renames monkeypox to avoid racist, stigmatizing connotations

WHO in December announced a decision to rename monkeypox disease — as it has been known since its discovery in 1958 — as mpox after a variety of offensive references appeared in popular media. read more

References:

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