Summary Background By October 30, 2022, 76,871 cases of mpox were reported worldwide, with 20,614 cases in Latin America. This study reports characteristics of a case series of suspected and confirmed mpox cases at a referral infectious diseases center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Methods This was a single-center, prospective, observational cohort study that enrolled all patients with suspected mpox between June 12 and August 19, 2022. Mpox was confirmed by a PCR test. We compared characteristics of confirmed and non-confirmed cases, and among confirmed cases according to HIV status using distribution tests. Kernel estimation was used for exploratory spatial analysis. Findings Of 342 individuals with suspected mpox, 208 (60.8%) were confirmed cases. Compared to non-confirmed cases, confirmed cases were more frequent among individuals aged 30–39 years, cisgender men (96.2% vs. 66.4%; p < 0.0001), reporting recent sexual intercourse (95.0% vs. 69.4%; p < 0.0001) and using PrEP (31.6% vs. 10.1%; p < 0.0001). HIV (53.2% vs. 20.2%; p < 0.0001), HCV (9.8% vs. 1.1%; p = 0.0046), syphilis (21.2% vs. 16.3%; p = 0.43) and other STIs (33.0% vs. 21.6%; p = 0.042) were more frequent among confirmed mpox cases. Confirmed cases presented more genital (77.3% vs. 39.8%; p < 0.0001) and anal lesions (33.1% vs. 11.5%; p < 0.0001), proctitis (37.1% vs. 13.3%; p < 0.0001) and systemic signs and symptoms (83.2% vs. 64.5%; p = 0.0003) than non-confirmed cases. Compared to confirmed mpox HIV-negative, HIV-positive individuals were older, had more HCV coinfection (15.2% vs. 3.7%; p = 0.011), anal lesions (45.7% vs. 20.5%; p < 0.001) and clinical features of proctitis (45.2% vs. 29.3%; p = 0.058). Interpretation Mpox transmission in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, rapidly evolved into a local epidemic, with sexual contact playing a crucial role in its dynamics and high rates of coinfections with other STI. Preventive measures must address stigma and social vulnerabilities. Funding Instituto Nacional de Infectologia Evandro Chagas, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (INI-Fiocruz).

6th February 2023 • comment

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic triggered substantial economic and social disruptions. Mitigation policies varied across countries based on resources, political conditions, and human behavior. In the absence of widespread vaccination able to induce herd immunity, strategies to coexist with the virus while minimizing risks of surges are paramount, which should work in parallel with reopening societies. 

7th July 2021 • comment