Monkeypox Explained: Types, symptoms, causes, and treatment

NEW DELHIEdited By: Nikhil PandeyUpdated: Jul 23, 2022, 09:00 PM IST
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Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same Orthopoxvirus genus that also includes smallpox-causing variola virus.Monkeypox is a zoonosis, a disease that is transmitted from infected animals to humans. 

The monkeypox outbreak, which has afflicted nearly 16,000 individuals in 72 countries, was deemed a global health emergency by the World Health Organization on Saturday. This is the highest alarm it can issue.

Monkeypox is an uncommon disease caused by a monkeypox virus infection. Monkeypox virus is a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the Poxviridae family. Variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus are all members of the Orthopoxvirus genus.

Monkeypox was initially found in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease in groups of monkeys utilised for the study occurred. 

The monkeypox virus is no longer transmitted by monkeys, despite its name. 

Monkeypox is thought to be spread by small rodents and squirrels in Africa's rainforests, though additional research is needed.

More information on the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and dissemination of monkeypox can be found here.

Types of Monkeypox Virus

The monkeypox virus is divided into two types: central African and west African.

The central African monkeypox virus is more likely to cause serious illnesses and death than the west African monkeypox virus.

Symptoms and Signs of Monkeypox

The symptoms of monkeypox are similar to those of smallpox, however, they are usually milder. 

Monkeypox symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle discomfort, and weariness.

Lymph nodes swollen

After one to three days, a rash would appear. The rash usually begins on the face and extends to other regions of your body, such as the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. The rash begins as flat, red pimples that eventually evolve into blisters that fill with pus.

After several days, the blisters may crust over and fall off.

Spread of Monkeypox

Monkeypox can spread for a variety of causes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

When a person comes into contact with an infected animal or human, monkeypox is disseminated. Animal-to-human transmission occurs when an infected animal's blood, body fluids, or pox lesions come into contact with broken skin, such as bites or scratches.

Monkeypox can also pass from person to person, but this is uncommon. When you come into contact with virus particles from an infected person, this is known as person-to-person transmission. Coughing, sneezing, and airborne droplets can all spread the infection. You can potentially become infected by touching an infected person's sores.


Although there are no specific therapies for monkeypox infection at present time, outbreaks can be controlled.

A monkeypox outbreak can be controlled with the smallpox vaccine, cidofovir, ST-246, and vaccinia immune globulin (VIG). 

The best available information about the benefits and dangers of smallpox vaccination and medicine used for the prevention and management of monkeypox and other orthopoxvirus infections was used to establish CDC guidance.