Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.
Monkeypox was discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research. Despite being named “monkeypox,” the source of the disease remains unknown. However, African rodents and non-human primates (like monkeys) might harbor the virus and infect people.
The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970. Prior to the 2022 outbreak, monkeypox had been reported in people in several central and western African countries. Previously, almost all monkeypox cases in people outside of Africa were linked to international travel to countries where the disease commonly occurs or through imported animals. These cases occurred on multiple continents.
- Monkey Pox is a virus that can spread through close contact with infectious lesions or droplet transmission
- Monkey Pox can live in your body for 6-13 days before you display symptoms
- Some of these symptoms may include fever, enlarged lymph nodes, and fatigue followed by pimple-like (papules) lesions that turn into large lesions (pustules) but these symptoms do not always appear prior to the rash
- These lesions can appear anywhere in the body and have been reported to be painful
- If you have experienced any of the symptoms it is important that you isolate yourself and call your health care provider.