Mpox outbreak in 2022: implications for blood component and donor human milk safety in Australia

Philip Kiely, Veronica C Hoad, Claire E Styles and Iain B Gosbell
Med J Aust 2023; 218 (5): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51863
Published online: 20 March 2023

Ongoing surveillance for emerging and re‐emerging infectious diseases is essential to assess their impact on blood and breastmilk safety

Before 2022, human mpox (formerly monkeypox) was rarely reported outside Africa,1 but in May 2022, an outbreak of human mpox was reported in historically non‐endemic countries. As the outbreak increased, the World Health Organization declared it a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 23 July 2022.2 Between 1 January 2022 and 12 February 2023, 85 765 laboratory‐confirmed mpox cases and 93 deaths had been reported to WHO from 110 member states, making it the largest recorded mpox outbreak.3 The six countries with the highest cumulative number of cases globally to 7 February 2023 were the United States (29 948 cases), Brazil (10 758), Spain (7533), France (4128), Colombia (4074) and the United Kingdom (3735), all countries where mpox was historically not endemic.3

  • 1 Australian Red Cross Lifeblood, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2 Monash University, Melbourne, VIC
  • 3 Western Sydney University, Sydney, NSW



Australian governments fund Australian Red Cross Lifeblood to provide blood, blood products, and services to the Australian community.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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