(CTN News) – The Democratic Republic of the Congo is facing a concerning situation as the Centers for Mpox Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a warning regarding a highly infectious strain of the Mpox virus.
This new strain, known as Clade I MPXV, has not yet been detected in the United States. However, healthcare professionals must be aware of this strain, especially when dealing with individuals who have recently traveled to Congo.
To ensure the safety of travelers, the CDC has released a travel health notice advising caution for those planning to visit the DRC.
Additionally, individuals who have recently returned from Congo and experience a “new, unexplained skin rash” or lesions, accompanied by or without fever and chills, should seek immediate medical attention.
The CDC has reported a significant increase in suspected mpox cases in Congo, totaling 12,569 cases since the beginning of the year.
This is a substantial rise compared to the annual average of 3,767 cases in previous years. The outbreak has affected 22 out of the country’s 26 provinces, including urban areas.
Healthcare professionals and travelers alike must stay informed about this evolving situation and take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.
The CDC has classified the outbreak as level two, urging enhanced precautions. These include avoiding contact with animals, wild game, and infected individuals. The low vaccination rate in the US is concerning, with only 25% receiving both doses.
Last year, mpox spread rapidly, especially among vulnerable populations like men who have sex with men. Health officials emphasize the need for precautions regardless of sexual orientation.
In May, the WHO declared mpox no longer a global health emergency.
The CDC has reported that the virus, previously believed to be transmitted through human-to-human contact, has also been detected in non-sexual modes of transmission.
In central and west Africa, Mpox has been prevalent for many years, spreading to humans from infected rodents and resulting in sporadic outbreaks.
Common symptoms of the virus include fever, rash, headache, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes.