Monkeypox virus: what you need to know about symptoms, transmission, and treatment - The Verge

Monkeypox started spreading outside of the countries where it’s usually found in early May. Here’s what you need to know about testing, vaccines, and transmission.

In May, public health officials started to detect cases of monkeypox all over the world, including in places where the disease doesn’t usually spread. In addition to spreading in Central and West Africa, where the disease has historically popped up, outbreaks spread in Europe, the United States, South America, and other parts of the planet.

The World Health Organization declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern over the spread of the disease worldwide, and the Biden administration declared a public health emergency for the United States monkeypox outbreak on Thursday, two months after cases of the disease started appearing in the country.

Here’s what you need to know about monkeypox.

Monkeypox is a disease caused by the monkeypox virus. It’s a similar virus to the one that causes smallpox. The first human case was identified in 1970, and since then, it’s primarily caused outbreaks in a handful of countries in Africa.

Leave the monkeys alone. Monkeypox got its name because it was first identified in a research monkey back in 1958. But this virus likes hanging out with plenty of small furry critters, especially rodents. One of the last outbreaks in the US happened in 2003 when some domesticated prairie dogs were sharing space with infected mammals from West Africa.

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