COVID-19 has dominated the public health arena for three years. Unfortunately, it still does. Monkeypox has creeped in. Although the threat does not match the magnitude of SARSCoV-2, the increasing number of cases is concerning.
Monkeypox cases worldwide are 5,323 in 52 locations, 4,177 in Europe, 1,821 in Africa, 396 in the United States, 21 in Massachusetts. Monkeypox is an infection caused by a virus. It is similar to smallpox and cowpox. Its symptoms are less severe and rarely fatal. It is not related to chickenpox.
It was first discovered in 1958 with outbreaks in research monkeys. Despite the name, the original source is not known. It is a zoonotic disease, meaning it is transmitted between animals and humans. The first human case was 1970. Since then, in the United States, there was an outbreak of 47 cases in 2003 from a shipment of animals from Ghana. In 2021, there were two separate cases. The U.S. is believed to be low risk at this time, but cases are increasing daily.