Mpox: China’s health authorities fight surge in cases of unknown originBMJ 2023; 382 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.p1939 (Published 22 August 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;382:p1939
- Flynn Murphy
Chinese health authorities are facing an escalating outbreak of mpox where most cases are of unknown origin.
A World Health Organization mpox situation report published on 14 August singled out “sustained community transmission in China” as driving the rise in cases in the region,1 which has bucked a broad global decline.
Confirmed cases of the viral infection, which primarily spreads through contact with infectious lesions, increased nearly fivefold to 491 on the Chinese mainland in July, according to China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC).2 That was up from 106 cases in June.2 No deaths were recorded. Four in five of the cases had no known origin, according to a post on the China CDC website on 9 August.3
“The reported cases represent only a fraction of the actual numbers, a phenomenon common in almost all other countries,” said Shui-Shan Lee, deputy director of the Stanley Ho Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The spike is not …