Top 5 Takeaways

  1. Disproportionate Impact on Specific Populations: 99% of monkeypox cases occurred in men, with 94% reporting male-to-male sexual or close intimate contact. Racial and ethnic minority groups, particularly Black and Hispanic individuals, are disproportionately affected.
  2. Clinical Presentation Variances: A shift from the typical monkeypox presentation was observed, with fewer patients experiencing prodromal symptoms and an increased prevalence of genital rashes.
  3. Public Health Prioritization: Emphasis on prioritizing gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men for prevention and testing efforts, focusing on equity and stigma minimization, while also being vigilant of transmission in other populations.
  4. Testing and Clinical Vigilance: Clinicians are advised to test for monkeypox based on rash symptoms, regardless of the presence of prodromal symptoms or the rash’s dissemination, acknowledging that the disease can affect anyone through close contact or exposure to contaminated materials.
  5. Response and Prevention Strategies: Public health response has included expanding testing, treatment, and vaccination efforts, emphasizing the need for ongoing surveillance and tailored strategies as new evidence emerges.


This MMWR Article was created prior to the conventional renaming of Monkeypox to its more standard and appropriate name, Mpox. To avoid confusion, Monkeypox is retained when writing this article, but all future works should use Mpox.

Original Article Author and Citation

Corresponding Author

David Philpott,

Suggested Citation

Philpott D, Hughes CM, Alroy KA, et al. Epidemiologic and Clinical Characteristics of Monkeypox Cases — United States, May 17–July 22, 2022. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:1018-1022.DOI:


The report presents a detailed analysis of the epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of monkeypox cases in the U.S. from May 17 to July 22, 2022. It highlights the disproportionate impact on men, especially those who have sex with men, and racial and ethnic minority groups. The clinical presentations noted differed from the typical presentations of monkeypox, with less frequent prodromal symptoms and more common genital rashes.


CDC’s analysis of case report form data for probable or confirmed cases reported through July 22, 2022, was conducted to describe the epidemiologic and clinical characteristics. This included demographics, transmission patterns, and symptoms, with a focus on the variations in clinical presentation and affected populations.


The discussion emphasizes the need for targeted public health efforts to address the disproportionate impact on gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men and racial and ethnic minority groups. It also underscores the importance of adapting clinical and public health practices to the evolving understanding of monkeypox transmission and presentation.


Effective public health strategies must prioritize affected populations, address equity, and minimize stigma. Clinicians should remain vigilant for monkeypox symptoms and consider testing based on clinical presentation rather than traditional symptomatology alone. The report calls for ongoing surveillance and adaptive response strategies as new information becomes available.

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