Last spring, a global outbreak of mpox (formerly known as “monkey pox”) spread to 110 countries. Cases in the United States as of last month have reached a total of 30,767, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meanwhile, researchers have found that a newly developed point-of-care assay for the rapid detection of the mpox virus has the potential for use in “low-resource and remote settings,” allowing for rapid point-of-care diagnosis. The results are available in approximately 45 minutes with high clinical sensitivity and specificity compared with the gold-standard quantitative polymerase chain reaction test, according to an open access article in the Lancet Microbe.
Where we stand right now: Cases in the United States in 2022 followed a bell curve, peaking in August with a 7-day average of more than 400 cases. This summer, 7-day averages have remained in the single digits.