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Monkeypox FAQ: Where Did It Come From? How Is It Transmitted? What Are the Symptoms?

Magnified and colorized monkeypox virus particles. Since early May, over 550 confirmed cases of human infection with monkeypox virus have been reported in 30 countries. Credit: NIAID

Since spreading outside of Africa and into Europe and North America, the news has been filled with warnings about the monkeypox outbreak. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) as of June 2, 2022, monkeypox cases have been reported in 27 different non-endemic countries: United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Canada, United States, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, France, Argentina, Mexico, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Malta, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and Australia.

This Monkeypox FAQ will answer common questions such as:

  • What is monkeypox?
  • Where did it come from?
  • How is it transmitted?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • What are the public health recommendations?
  • Does the smallpox vaccine offer protection?
  • Is it the next viral pandemic?

With cases reported in a number of countries, human monkeypox infection is generating global interest and concern as an emerging infectious disease threat even in the midst of a slowly relenting COVID-19First identified in 2019 in Wuhan, China, Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It has spread globally, resulting in the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic.” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]”>COVID-19 pandemic.

What is monkeypox virus?

Monkeypox is a member of a closely related group of viruses in the Orthopoxvirus genus that includes smallpox, cowpox, and camelpox. Monkeypox virus was first discovered in the summer of 1958 as a non-lethal, smallpox-like, skin disease in captive monkeys at a research institute in Denmark.

The name monkeypox is a misnomer since terrestrial African rodents (rats and squirrels) serve as the natural reservoir of the virus, while monkeys and other primates are believed to be accidental hosts.

Source: SciTechDaily