Mpox Emergence Unit Democratic Republic of Congo 2023

Status : active - level 1

Last updated on 21 February 2024

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What matters

In 2023 the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is experiencing a national resurgence in the number of Monkeypox virus (MPXV) infections compared with previous years.

The incidence of human cases of MPXV in 2023 is now the highest ever recorded in the DRC, with the notification of 12,569 suspected cases, including 581 deaths in the country to date.

This increase is accompanied by a worrying widening of the zone of circulation of the virus, which is now affecting new provinces beyond rural geographical areas, reaching urban or peri-urban areas that were not the usual terrain for epidemic outbreaks or clusters of Mpox.

The DRC’s Ministry of Health and Population has informed the World Health Organisation (WHO) of new cases of MPXV infection among the local population following sexual intercourse. The National Institute for Biomedical Research (INRB) has demonstrated that the MPXV strains responsible for these infections belong to the first clade, marking the first documentation of sexual transmission of Monkeypox viruses clade 1.

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