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May 27, 2022

What to Know About Monkeypox

JAMA. 2022;327(23):2278-2279. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.9499

Medical and public health officials are concerned—and puzzled—by the increasing number of confirmed monkeypox cases in countries outside central and western Africa, where the virus is endemic.

In the past 5 years, scientists have confirmed only 8 cases where travelers carried monkeypox to countries outside Africa, including 2 cases last year in the US. Each was linked to a person who had recently spent time in Nigeria, a country that experienced a resurgence in monkeypox starting in 2017. In those cases, the human-to-human spread was limited; 2 family members became infected in one instance, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). One health care worker who had contact with contaminated bedsheets was infected in another case, report experts in an article published in the CDC’s Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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    2 Comments for this article
    Myrto Ashe, MD, MPH | Private Practice
    Given the exponential increase in number of cases, and the potential for mutation, and for monkeypox gaining access to an animal reservoir, shouldn't we be more vigorous about quarantining contacts at this time?

    This is the time it's actually highly cost-effective and even possible. Is there no agreement that "monkeypox zero" is actually the goal here?
    The 2003 Monkeypox Outbreak in Wisconsin
    Charles Edmiston, MS, PhD, FIDSA, FSHEA | Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    In light of the elevated level of concern associated with the increasing numbers of cases across the United States. I recommend readers review the experiences of a team of healthcare professionals at Froedtert Hospital, the clinical affiliate of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, who managed the clinical cases and potential exposures during the monkeypox outbreak in Wisconsin in 2003 (1). Professional expertise and collegial coordination with the Wisconsin Division of Public Heath and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention effectively minimized the risk of this disease process to the residents of Wisconsin and the patients and healthcare professionals at Froedtert Hospital.

    Charles E. Edmiston, Jr., CIC, PhD, FIDSA, FSHEA, FAPIC
    Emeritus Professor of Surgery
    Medical College of Wisconsin
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin


    1.Edmiston CE, Graham, MB, Wilson PJ, Grahn B. The monkeypox virus outbreak: Reflections from the front lines. Am J Infect Control 31:382-384