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In early May 2022, a global outbreak of mpox started among persons without travel history to regions known to be enzootic for monkeypox virus (MPXV). On 8 August 2022, the Netherlands reported its 1,000th mpox case, representing a cumulative incidence of 55 per million population, one of the highest cumulative incidences worldwide. We describe characteristics of the first 1,000 mpox cases in the Netherlands, reported between 20 May and 8 August 2022, within the context of the public health response. These cases were predominantly men who have sex with men aged 31–45 years. The vast majority of infections were acquired through sexual contact with casual partners in private or recreational settings including LGBTQIA+ venues in the Netherlands. This indicates that, although some larger upsurges occurred from point-source and/or travel-related events, the outbreak was mainly characterised by sustained transmission within the Netherlands. In addition, we estimated the protective effect of first-generation smallpox vaccine against moderate/severe mpox and found a vaccine effectiveness of 58% (95% CI: 17–78%), suggesting moderate protection against moderate/severe mpox symptoms on top of any possible protection by this vaccine against MPXV infection and disease. Communication with and supporting the at-risk population in following mitigation measures remains essential.


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