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The Role of the Obstetrician–Gynecologist in Emerging Infectious Diseases: Monkeypox and Pregnancy

Jamieson, Denise J. MD, MPH; Cono, Joanne MD, ScM; Richards, Chesley L. MD, MPH; Treadwell, Tracee A. DVM, MPH

doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000114987.76424.6d
Current Commentary

Early in June 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced yet another unique infectious disease outbreak, the first evidence of community-acquired monkeypox in the United States. By July 8, 2003, a total of 71 cases had been reported to CDC from 6 states. When emerging infectious diseases are reported in the United States, particularly when these reports receive widespread media attention, obstetrician–gynecologists may be called upon to rapidly respond to queries from their patients and to address certain infectious disease risks within their clinical practices. In addition, obstetrician–gynecologists may have specific concerns about the implications for an infectious disease outbreak, such as monkeypox, for pregnant women. Therefore, it is important that obstetrician–gynecologists know how to gather up-to-date and accurate information about infectious disease outbreaks and that they be familiar with the public health response system for responding to such outbreaks.

When emerging infectious diseases such as monkeypox are reported in the United States, obstetrician–gynecologists may be called upon to respond rapidly.

National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia

Address reprint requests to: Denise J. Jamieson, MD, MPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, Mailstop K-34, Atlanta, GA 30341; e-mail:

Received November 6, 2003. Received in revised form November 19, 2003. Accepted December 9, 2003.

© 2004 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists