Citing low transmission of the viral disease over the past two months, the Baltimore City Health Department is ending its emergency response to the mpox outbreak that started last year.
There are currently zero cases being monitored by the city health department, which announced in a Thursday news release that it was demobilizing its Incident Command Structure response to mpox. The disease, formerly known as monkeypox, was first detected in Baltimore in June 2022.
“Our effective response to the mpox outbreak was a collaborative effort that demonstrated the strength of our public health system,” Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, the city’s health commissioner, said in a statement.
The emergency response allowed health department personnel to work outside their usual scope to focus on the outbreak of mpox. The health department’s HIV/STI community outreach teams worked directly with groups most impacted by mpox to provide resources, and its acute communicable disease program worked with COVID-19 investigators to contact trace mpox cases.
Health officials detected nearly a third of the state’s total mpox cases in Baltimore City, according to Maryland Department of Health records. Three deaths in Maryland have been associated with mpox.
Over 9,800 people throughout the state have been vaccinated for the disease, which is mostly spread through close or intimate contact.
Transmission rates in Baltimore have been low over the past two months, the health department said in the release.
“We are thrilled to see transmission rates remain low, and we want to assure Baltimore City residents that our services and resources are still available to them,” Dzirasa said.
The city is still offering mpox vaccinations to eligible residents through its partner, NOMI Health. The city will also continue contact tracing mpox cases, the department said.
More information on the disease and vaccine eligibility are available on the health department website or by calling 443-438-6016.