STI Clinical Program Update: Mpox letter and Bicillin shortage

STI Clinical Program Updates: Mpox letter and Bicillin shortage

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) STD Control Branch has released two new important communications on: (1) Preventing a Resurgence of Mpox Cases in California and (2) Addressing an ongoing Bicillin® L-A shortage.

(1) Dear Colleague Letter: Preventing a Resurgence of Mpox Cases in California

CDPH is aware that – while the rate of California (CA) mpox cases has declined precipitously since its peak in August 2022 – mpox transmission has continued in CA, and other states have recently reported a resurgence of mpox cases. Accordingly, CDPH has released a new Dear Colleague Letter intended as a call to action to Californian health care providers to remain vigilant in mpox prevention, recognition, and testing. This is especially important during the upcoming 2023 spring and summer season as people gather for festivals and events, including LGBTQ Pride Month in June. Information on how to diagnose, test for, and vaccinate against mpox is included.

(2) Health Advisory: Bicillin® L-A (Benzathine Penicillin G) Shortage

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have announced a shortage of long-acting penicillin G benzathine injectable suspension products (Bicillin® L-A), with an estimated recovery timeframe not until Q4 of 2023. This is of considerable concern in CA, as the state continues to see significant increases in syphilis — including syphilis in pregnant persons and congenital syphilis in infants. CDPH has thus issued a Health Advisory addressing the Bicillin® L-A shortage, providing a framework for prioritization of limited Bicillin® L-A supplies when necessary, and recommending doxycycline as an alternative to Bicillin® L-A in appropriate clinical scenarios.


California Prevention Training Center