Monkey Pox/Poxvirus: Emergence of a Dangerous Disease


About Monkey Pox/ Poxvirus

Monkeypox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. The Orthopoxvirus genus also includes variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus.

Monkeypox in the United States

Monkeypox does not occur naturally in the United States. But, CDC is tracking multiple clusters of monkeypox that have been reported in early- to mid-May in several countries that don’t normally report monkeypox, including in Europe and North America.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of monkeypox are similar to but milder than the symptoms of smallpox. Monkeypox begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion. Monkeypox causes lymph nodes to swell while smallpox does not. The incubation period for monkeypox is usually 7−14 days but can range from 5−21 days.

Transmission of Monkey Pox

Transmission of monkeypox virus occurs when a person comes into contact with the virus from an animal, human, or materials contaminated with the virus. The virus enters the body through broken skin (even if not visible), respiratory tract, or the mucous membranes. direct contact with body fluids or lesion material, or indirect contact with lesion material.


At the moment, there is no known safe treatment for monkeypox virus infection. Smallpox vaccine, antivirals, and vaccinia immune globulin (VIG) can be utilized to control a monkeypox outbreak in the United States.


Measures that can be taken to prevent infection with monkeypox virus: – Avoid contact with animals. – Avoid contact with any materials, that has been in contact with a sick animal. – Isolate infected patients from others. – Practice good hand hygiene. – Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.

The CDC plans to issue public information soon on poxvirus infections which, when available, will be found here.