ASM and Partners Offer Input on Federal Mpox Response
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared mpox (formerly called monkeypox) to be a “public health emergency of international concern,” its highest level alert, on July 23, 2022. Over 16,000 cases of pox across 75 countries had been reported as of the announcement.
Shortly after, ASM and partner organizations issued a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services identifying challenges in the U.S. response to the current mpox outbreak (MPV).
"Regulatory hurdles combined with insufficient health care and public health resources, personnel and infrastructure already strained by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic present substantial barriers to patient access to MPV vaccination, diagnostics and treatment. Without timely and effective health care and public health approaches to combat this virus, we will lose more ground, the outbreak will be unnecessarily prolonged (with both human and economic costs) and we risk establishing animal reservoirs in the U.S. This is a global outbreak, and U.S. leadership and coordination with other countries is important to prevent further transmission. We must immediately apply lessons learned from the COVID-19 and HIV pandemics to ensure a more equitable, rapid and well-coordinated MPV response," the letter read.
The letter also offered policy recommendations to improve patient outcomes and stop the spread of the virus.