Monkeypox, a rare viral disease that shares some similarities with smallpox, has been causing concern around the world, particularly in the United States, where the number of cases has increased in recent years.
If you want to learn more about this disease, including how it started and what its original host was, keep reading.
What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a viral disease that is caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same family of viruses as smallpox, chickenpox, and shingles. The disease is primarily found in animals such as monkeys, squirrels, and rodents, but it can also infect humans.
The first human case of monkeypox was identified in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly known as Zaire) in a 9-year-old boy who lived in a remote village. Since then, the disease has been reported in several countries in Africa, including Cameroon, Central African Republic, Nigeria, and Sudan.
Monkeypox's Original Host
Scientists believe that the monkeypox virus originated in African rodents and was then transmitted to monkeys, which served as an intermediate host. The virus is thought to have been transmitted to humans through contact with infected animals, such as bites or scratches, or through consumption of infected meat.
Monkeypox in the United States
The first case of monkeypox in the United States was reported in 2003 in a person who had traveled to West Africa. Since then, there have been several outbreaks of monkeypox in the US, particularly in the Midwest.
According to Monkeypox Cases and Deaths by US State, as of March 2023, there have been a total of 125 reported cases of monkeypox in the United States, with the majority of cases reported in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Illinois.
While monkeypox is a rare disease, it is important to be aware of its origins and how it is transmitted. By understanding its history, we can take better steps to prevent its spread and protect ourselves from infection.
For more information on monkeypox symptoms, transmission, and prevention, check out Monkeypox Symptoms, Transmission, and Prevention, which provides a comprehensive guide to the disease.