Monkey Pox Fact Sheet

Monkeypox cases have been recently reported in the US, UK, Canada, Portugal, and Spain.

Monkeypox is a viral disease caused by the Monkeypox virus (MPXV) and was first discovered in 1958 on captive primates. 

Monkeypox was later found in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and has already spread to thousands of people in parts of Central and Western Africa.

There have been cases reported in the US and Europe in the past but there have been no large scale outbreaks so far. 

One of the most recent human transmission outside of Africa was detected an outbreak in 2003 in the United States which was linked to live mammal importation. 

Monkeypox often has symptoms similar to flu like fever, muscle ache and swollen lymph nodes while it also causes a chickenpox-like rash on the face and body.

The incubation period for monkeypox lasts from 6 to 16 days but can reach up to 21. 

The rashes appear like syphillis or chicken pox lesions at first but later scab and fall off. 

Monkeypox human transmission occurs through contact with infected animals or humans and infected materials such as body fluids or feces. 

Animals such as primates and rodents may carry the Monkeypox while no research has been made if other animals are susceptible as well. 

Respiratory droplets are the main vectors of monkeypox while it is also possible for the virus to enter open wounds.

Monkeypox can be detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction tests (qPCR) using scabs, swabs and aspirated lesion fluids.

Currently, there is no treatment or vaccine for monkeypox but Robert Steffen, emeritus professor at the University of Zurich’s Epidemiology said thatolder generations that received the smallpox vaccine are more immune to the virus. 

Steffen added that monkeypox will “likely be found elsewhere” in the coming weeks but did not explain how. 

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