Monkeypox Virus Poses a Concern to the CDC

Fever, headache, body aches, and fatigue are the earliest symptoms of monkeypox, a deadly disease caused by infection when one has contracted the monkeypox virus. One of the most distinctive symptoms of monkeypox is the swelling of the lymph nodes, which is different from smallpox. One to three days after the initial infection, patients develop facial rashes that spread throughout the body.


Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 in various African states as a result of experiments on monkeys, however, the first human case was found in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Cases of monkeypox outside of Africa have been linked to international travel and imported cargo, primarily animals.


In 2003, the United States experienced a monkeypox outbreak with six states reporting cases caused by contact with prairie dogs from Ghana. After several investigations from state and federal health departments, officials have concluded that the prairie dogs had contact with six types of rodents, a couple of species of which the CDC proved to contain the monkeypox virus. Later, in 2021 there were cases of monkeypox reported in the United States, however, the most recent case has been reported on May 18th, 2022.


The CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health are investigating a case after an individual tested positive for the virus, in which the male reported having an intimate relationship with another male. However, the CDC is urging state and local healthcare providers to be on the lookout for serious rashes regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. This is due to the fact that an estimated one in ten people dies after about four weeks of the initial infection. Moreover, most of the infections have led to mild illness, however, it is possible that some individuals may suffer from severe disease.


Some of the factors that lead to increased infections and deaths are a decline in immunity strength and the lack of smallpox vaccines administered. At this time, the United States, WHO, and the CDC are not imposing any restrictions on travel to Africa.