Mpox cases in the United States are twice as high as they were at this time last year, and experts are stressing the importance of improving vaccination coverage as transmission risks rise.

There have been 511 cases reported this year through March 16, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — compared with fewer than 300 cases by late March 2023.

Transmission rates are still far below levels from 2022, when there were tens of thousands of cases in the US. But after a quieter year last year, experts say the US is vulnerable to increases in spread in a number of ways. The public health emergency in the US expired more than a year ago, cutting the amount of federal resources available to manage the public health response. And relatively low vaccination rates leave many at risk.

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