Interim Clinical Treatment Considerations for Severe Manifestations of Mpox - United States, February 2023

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2023 Mar 3;72(9):232-243. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm7209a4.


Monkeypox (mpox) is a disease caused by infection with Monkeypox virus (MPXV), an Orthopoxvirus (OPXV) in the same genus as Variola virus, which causes smallpox. During 2022, a global outbreak involving mpox clade IIb was recognized, primarily among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.* Most affected patients have been immunocompetent and experienced ≤10 rash lesions (1). CDC has recommended supportive care including pain control. However, some patients have experienced severe mpox manifestations, including ocular lesions, neurologic complications, myopericarditis, complications associated with mucosal (oral, rectal, genital, and urethral) lesions, and uncontrolled viral spread due to moderate or severe immunocompromise, particularly advanced HIV infection (2). Therapeutic medical countermeasures (MCMs) are Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated drugs and biologics that are predominantly stockpiled by the U.S. government; MCMs developed for smallpox preparedness or shown to be effective against other OPXVs (i.e., tecovirimat, brincidofovir, cidofovir, trifluridine ophthalmic solution, and vaccinia immune globulin intravenous [VIGIV]) have been used to treat severe mpox. During May 2022-January 2023, CDC provided more than 250 U.S. mpox consultations. This report synthesizes data from animal models, MCM use for human cases of related OPXV, unpublished data, input from clinician experts, and experience during consultations (including follow-up) to provide interim clinical treatment considerations. Randomized controlled trials and other carefully controlled research studies are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of MCMs for treating human mpox. Until data gaps are filled, the information presented in this report represents the best available information concerning the effective use of MCMs and should be used to guide decisions about MCM use for mpox patients.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • HIV Infections*
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mpox (monkeypox)*
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities*
  • Smallpox*