Science and Tech


Mpox cases nearly double at start of 2024 versus same time last year

A recommendation to expand the number of Americans encouraged to get an mpox vaccine has not yet been accepted by the CDC's director.
A family nurse practitioner prepares a syringe with the Mpox vaccine.
Posted at 9:20 AM, Mar 29, 2024

Cases of mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, are on the rise at the start of 2024, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

As of March 16, 2024, there have been 511 cases of mpox reported in the U.S., which is nearly double the amount reported in the same time last year, according to the CDC, 

The recent rise in mpox cases is a far cry from the number of cases reported during the mpox outbreak of 2022. During that outbreak, cases peaked at around 460 per day, the CDC said. 

In May 2023,the CDC issued an alert saying that mpox could reemerge and encouraged those in high-risk groups to get vaccinated. 

In October 2023, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to recommend that up to 2 million Americans get a mpox vaccine routinely. 

There have been more US measles cases this year than in all of 2023
A dose of the MMR vaccine

There have been more US measles cases this year than in all of 2023

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked the majority of cases to international travel.


The panel recommended that some gay men and health care workers, who officials say face a higher risk of contracting mpox, should routinely get Bavarian Nordic's JYNNEOS vaccine. The recommendation, however, has not yet been approved by CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen.

The vaccine is currently recommended for a more narrow group of individuals, including those who have been likely exposed to the virus. 

In most cases, mpox is painful but not life-threatening.

Typical symptoms of mpox include a rash, fever, malaise, headache, and muscle aches.

In 2022, during the height of a worldwide outbreak, vaccines were scarce while demand was high. Federal officials worked to make 2.5 million vaccines available to the public.