The World Health Organization (WHO) declared monkeypox a global health emergency on July 23, 2022. We understand that many patients may have questions. We want to provide you with information about monkeypox.
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a viral infection. It causes a skin rash that can look like pimples or blisters. It may also cause flu-like symptoms like fever, exhaustion, and/or muscle aches.
It was first identified in the 1950s from a colony of sick monkeys in a research lab in Denmark. The first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since that time, outbreaks have occurred in West and Central Africa. Until the current outbreak, cases outside of that region were linked to travel to or contact with infected animals from West and Central Africa.
By June this year there was no confirmed Monkey Pox case in Uganda but it was registered in eight African countries. Suspected samples were flown to South Africa for testing but all the 30 turned out negative, however Uganda acquired reagents and now the Uganda Virus Institute is doing the testing.
According to the CDC, more than 88 countries have reported cases of monkeypox as of August 2022. There have been more than 27,000 confirmed cases worldwide. You can learn more about the global outbreak on the CDC map and case tracker.
How easily does monkeypox spread?
The monkeypox virus does not spread easily between people like COVID-19 or the flu. People who do not have symptoms are not considered infectious.
Monkeypox is spread through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact such as:
- Direct contact with monkeypox rash or scabs from a person with monkeypox.
- Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
- Contact with fluids from the mouth, nose, throat, or lungs from a person with monkeypox.