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The 2022 multinational monkeypox outbreak in non-endemic countries

23 June 2022
Volume 31 · Issue 12

Monkeypox is a rare infection that is mainly spread by wild animals in parts of west or central Africa (NHS website, 2022). It was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research, hence the name ‘monkeypox.’ The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo during a period of intensified effort to eliminate smallpox (Moore and Zahra, 2022). Since then, monkeypox has been reported in humans in other central and western African countries (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2022). Before the current outbreak, there were seven cases of monkeypox in the UK between 2018 and 2021. Four of these were imported, two cases had been in household contacts of confirmed cases, and one case was in a healthcare worker involved in the care of an imported case (UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), 2022a).

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