Basic Information about Monkeypox
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Basic Information about Monkeypox

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    Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that is found mostly in the rainforest countries of central and west Africa. The disease is called “monkeypox” because it was first discovered in laboratory monkeys in 1958. Blood tests of animals in Africa later found evidence of monkeypox infection in various rodent species. The virus that causes monkeypox was recovered from an African squirrel, which may be the natural host. Laboratory studies showed that the virus could also infect rats, mice, and rabbits.

    In 1970, monkeypox was identified as the cause of a rash illness in humans in remote African locations. In early June 2003, monkeypox was reported among several residents in the United States who became ill after having contact with sick pet prairie dogs. This is the first evidence of community-acquired monkeypox in the United States.

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