Monkeypox is a zoonosis: a disease that is transmitted from animals to humans. Cases are often found close to tropical rainforests where there are animals that carry the virus. Evidence of monkeypox virus infection has been found in animals including squirrels, Gambian poached rats, dormice, different species of monkeys and others.
Human-to-human transmission is limited, with the longest documented chain of transmission being 6 generations, meaning that the last person to be infected in this chain was 6 links away from the original sick person. It can be transmitted through contact with bodily fluids, lesions on the skin or on internal mucosal surfaces, such as in the mouth or throat, respiratory droplets and contaminated objects.
Data from the World Health Organization indicates that the Monkeypox virus is an orthopoxvirus that causes a disease with symptoms similar, but less severe, to smallpox. While smallpox was eradicated in 1980, monkeypox continues to occur in countries of Central and West Africa. Two distinct clades are identified: the West African clade and the Congo Basin clade, also known as the Central African clade.
Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are tracking multiple cases of monkeypox that have been reported in several countries that don’t normally report monkeypox (view global map), including the United States. It’s not clear how the people were exposed to monkeypox, but early data suggest that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up a high number of cases. However, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk.
The Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), given the available data which indicates that Monkeypox mainly occurs in forested rural areas in Central and Western Africa and also with the rising incidence of reported cases and outbreaks raising concerns about the future spread of the disease across the continent, is organizing a webinar on Emerging Viral infections and diseases: Focus on the Monkey pox virus.
Hon Dr. David P. Parirenyatwa
President of SAA
Dr Fiona Braka
Team Lead, Emergency Operations,
WHO AFRO Regional Office
|Prof. Emmanuel Nakoune-Yandoko |
University of Bangui in Central African Republic
|Dr. Henry Nagai |
Chief of Party & Public Health Physician
|Dr. Tieble Traore |
|Dr. Herring Belinda |
|Dr. Lewis Rosamund |
Vaccine and Immunization
|Dr. Lukoya Okot Charles |
|Dr. Deborah Goldstein |
|Dr. Peter Mala Mondi |
Global IM MPX,