Monkeypox virus (MPXV) is a zoonotic orthopoxvirus that causes a disease known as monkeypox. This virus was first isolated from rodents in 1958, but has been reported in humans since 1970.


Human cases have occurred in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. In the United States, human infections were first identified in 2003 in California.

The symptoms of monkeypox are similar to those of smallpox, except that they tend to appear later in the course of infection. The incubation period ranges from 2-10 days.

Initial symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, fatigue, loss of appetite, and malaise. These symptoms may last several weeks before resolving.

After about 1 week, a rash appears, usually beginning on the face and spreading over the body. The rash typically begins on the hands and feet and progresses to involve the arms and legs.

The rash can take anywhere from 5-14 days to develop. The rash is often accompanied by painful sores around the mouth and eyes.

The primary way this virus spreads is through direct contact with infected animals. People who come into close contact with infected animals are at risk of contracting the virus.

Other symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.