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Mpox is a viral zoonotic disease, caused by monkeypox virus, recognized as the most important orthopoxvirus infection after the eradication of smallpox.

This course offers public health officers and health workers in-depth information to understand the epidemiology, modes of transmission, clinical presentation, diagnostics, and treatment of mpox, as well as the strategies needed for effective prevention and outbreak investigation and response.

Photo credit: WHO / Mark V. Szczeniowski

The content and scope of this course on mpox have been tailored for outbreaks in African countries where the disease is endemic. The course material was last updated in 2021 and may not reflect most recent WHO guidance issued for the multi-country outbreak in 2022.

Following a series of consultations with global experts, WHO will begin using a new preferred term “mpox” as a synonym for monkeypox. This course was last updated in 2021 and will be updated to reflect this change of name. In the meantime, any reference to monkeypox across the course materials should be read as mpox.

Language: English
Intermediate (Intermediaire), Mpox

Course information

This course is also available in the following languages:

Français - Spanish - Русский - العربية - português - 中文

Overview: Mpox mainly occurs in forested rural areas in central and Western Africa. Since the cessation of smallpox vaccination, the rising incidence of reported cases and outbreaks are raising concerns about the future spread of the disease. Despite higher risks in endemic areas, mpox remains under-recognized and underreported. Optimal supportive care is critical to improve the clinical course of mpox and avoid the most severe complications for persons affected.

Course duration: Approximately 3 hours.

Certificates: A Record of Achievement will be available to participants who score at least 80% of the total points available in the course assessment.Participants who receive a Record of Achievement can also download an Open Badge for this course. Click here to learn how.

Please note that a short introductory overview of mpox is also available in English and French.

A short course providing a general overview of mpox, with a focus on new information on the disease and lessons learned from the global outbreak 2022-2023 is now available here

This e-learning course was prepared by the following WHO personnel: Rosamund Lewis, Alexandra Hill, Nohelly Nombela, Bernard Onoja and Nikola Sklenovska, with the additional support of Melinda Frost, Marta Lado, Alice Simniceanu, Tieble Traore, Maria Van Kerkhove and Karin Von Eije. WHO wishes to thank the following partners for their contributions and technical support: Placide Mbala-Kingebeni, Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Dimie Ogoina, Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Bayelsa, Nigeria; Adesola Ogunleye, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Nigeria; Jake Dunning, University of Oxford, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Jeffrey Doty, Andrea McCollum and Brett Peterson, the United States (USA) Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. WHO wishes to thank Neting, The E-learning Solution, for support in putting together this package.

What you'll learn

  • Describe the monkeypox virus, the disease it causes, modes of transmission, ecology and geographical distribution;
  • Describe the clinical presentation of monkeypox, diagnostic tests and appropriate handling and shipment of biological specimens;
  • Describe treatment and care of patients and infection prevention and control practices;
  • Explain how to conduct a monkeypox outbreak investigation and mount an effective response; and
  • Explain how to mount an effective response to a monkeypox outbreak.

Who this course is for

  • This animated course in four modules aims to provide public health professionals, policy-makers and health workers in endemic areas with information and resources to prevent, detect, and treat monkeypox, ensure optimal patient care and infection prevention and control, and to mount an effective outbreak investigation and response.

Course contents

  • Module 1: Introduction to mpox:

    This module gives an overview of the monkeypox virus and ecology, the human disease it causes and modes of transmission, its geographic distribution, and an introduction to prevention and response.
  • Module 2: Clinical diagnosis, surveillance and laboratory investigation:

    By the end of this module, you should be able to: describe mpox disease, differentiate it from chickenpox and measles, and provide a case definition; list the best specimens for mpox diagnosis, and explain how these are collected, packaged, and transported; and compare diagnostic methods and describe laboratory biosafety standards.
  • Module 3: Case management and infection prevention and control:

    By the end of this module, you should be able to: describe clinical complications and sequelae of mpox and how to care for patients; and describe appropriate infection prevention and control measures.
  • Module 4: Outbreak management:

    By the end of this module, you should be able to: explain the purpose and steps of a mpox outbreak investigation; and explain how to mount an effective response to a mpox outbreak.

Enroll me for this course

The course is free. Just register for an account on OpenWHO and take the course!
Enroll me now
Learners enrolled: 36221

Certificate Requirements

  • Gain a Record of Achievement by earning at least 80% of the maximum number of points from all graded assignments.