CDC Warns of Potential Mpox Outbreak

  • Vaccinations are the best tool to prevent a resurgence of the virus

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The Centers for Disease Control issued an alert of a new outbreak of mpox, a viral disease that causes a rash, fever and other symptoms, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa. Mpox is mostly found in Africa but spread to the U.S. in 2022 as a sexually transmitted infection, causing an outbreak mostly among gay and bi men. Now there are concerns of a potential resurgence of the virus in the U.S.

This current outbreak in the DRC is being caused by a different type of mpox than the one in the U.S. in 2022. To simplify it, there are two main types of mpox – Central African and West African. Each type is referred to as a clade. Each clade can have many variants. The 2022 outbreak was fueled by clade II (West African). The current outbreak in the DRC is a result of clade I and according to the CDC it “can result in more persons with severe illness and higher mortality.”

People who have weakened immune systems, including those living with HIV, are at a higher risk of becoming severely ill and dying.

According to data from the CDC, since the 2022 outbreak, there have been 32,063 reported infections and 58 deaths in the U.S. In Florida there have been 101 reported cases in 2024 and 108 in 2023 according to data from the Florida Department of Health. During the outbreak in 2022 there were 2,857 cases. In the past 30 days in South Florida there have been 13 cases with one in Palm Beach, four in Broward and eight in Miami-Dade.

So far there have been no reported clade I infections in the U.S. or in any countries where the virus is not already endemic.

“However, given the documented sexual transmission of clade I MPXV in DRC, persons engaging in certain sexual behaviors (e.g., MSM with multiple sexual partners and sex workers) might be at increased risk if clade I mpox is introduced into the United States,” according to the CDC.

Individuals who previously received two doses of the mpox vaccine should be protected from a potential outbreak. For individuals who may have only received one dose it’s recommended that they receive a second shot.

“Viruses travel; the world is not as compartmentalized as it seemed 50 years ago,” said Stephen Fallon, the executive director of Latinos Salud. “The good news is that If you have already received two doses of mpox vaccine, then you’re largely protected if the new clade I from the Democratic Republic of Congo makes its way here.”

When the outbreak occurred in 2022 mpox wasn’t considered an STI, but it quickly spread via sexual transmission causing a panic in the gay and bi community, provoking a quick public health response.

The 2022 outbreak began in May of that year in Europe and then spread to the U.S. during Pride Month in June.

Health experts encouraged the gay and bi community to alter their sexual behaviors to curb the outbreak. According to some experts, that was more effective than the actual vaccines at the time.

“Local behavioral changes played a larger role in curbing transmission than did travel restrictions and vaccination campaigns,” reads one report.

Those who believe they are at risk can get vaccinated through Latinos Salud, Care Resource or the Florida Department of Health. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and CAN Community Health are referring individuals to the health department.

After the 2022 outbreak the virus mostly faded away in the U.S. But Fallon noted there was a small outbreak last summer in Chicago.

“The CDC spotted a small outbreak in Chicago, and to avoid another surge, rolled out a new initiative to promote vaccination and prevention again,” Fallon said.

Latinos Salud was one of 44 grantees across the country. They just wrapped up an 8-month vaccination project.

“Without mpox in the headlines, fewer people took us up on the free vaccinations,” Fallon said.  “Still, we managed to get hundreds of vaccines in arms.”

They still have a limited number of doses available. Visit or call their offices to make an appointment (Wilton Manors – 954-765-6239).

While behavioral changes helped curb the first outbreak, vaccinations are still the best long-term solution to keep mpox at bay. Medical experts say behavior modification is only a short-term solution.

“Vaccination is a cornerstone of modern medicine, offering protection against infectious diseases. It’s not just a shot; it’s protection for individuals and communities alike,” said Dr. Steven Santiago, Chief Medical Officer of Care Resource Community Health Centers. “By boosting our immune systems, vaccines help us fight off harmful pathogens, keeping everyone safer and healthier — it’s our first step in building healthier communities.”

Visit to make an appointment.

CAN Community Health is also urging those at risk to get vaccinated.

“Any significant mpox infection in the U.S. is found almost exclusively in those that have not been vaccinated, so there is confidence that the [mpox] vaccine is highly effective,” said Dr. Steven Barnett, CAN's Chief Medical Officer.

During the last outbreak in the U.S. men who have sex with men were most at risk for infection.

Barnett lists these risk factors:

  • Exposure to someone with mpox
  • Had a sex partner in the past 2 weeks who was diagnosed with mpox
  • Gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men or a transgender, nonbinary, or gender-diverse person who in the past 6 months has had any of the following:
    • A new diagnosis of an STI (e.g., chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis)
    • More than one sex partner
  • You have had any of the following in the past 6 months
    • Sex at a commercial sex venue (sex clubs or bathhouses)
    • Sex related to a large event, or in a geographic area, where mpox virus transmission is occurring
  • Have a sex partner with any of the above risks
  • Anticipate experiencing any of the above scenarios

Barnett said CAN Community Health is available to provide treatment for an mpox infection and can provide guidance on whether or not you should be vaccinated.

The main symptom of mpox is a rash, which the CDC explains as: the rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing; the rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy. Other possible symptoms include fever; chills; swollen lymph nodes; exhaustion; muscle aches and backache; headache and respiratory symptoms (e.g., sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough).

The Florida Department of Health in Broward County is offering mpox vaccinations at the Children’s Reading Center and Museum in Davie. Visit for more information on immunizations.


Phone: 954-514-7095
Hours: Monday - Friday 9AM - 2PM


2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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