How is monkeypox spread?

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Monkeypox has reached Spain. In May 2022, this disease of tropical origin has been detected in a few confirmed cases in national territory, in addition to dozens of suspects. For several weeks it has been spreading outside of Africa through countries such as Portugal, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada, setting off all health alarms.

How is monkeypox spread

Given the rate of monkeypox infections detected in recent weeks, it is worth making an in-depth analysis of a disease unknown to the majority of the population in developed countries. To find out how monkeypox is spread and learn more about this disease, at, we recommend that you continue reading this article.

What is it and what are the symptoms of monkeypox?

An orthopoxviral belonging to the smallpox family is the cause of this disease. It is called monkeypox due to its discovery in these animals in 1958, although it can also be found in rodents. The first case detected in humans was in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Since 1970, monkeypox outbreaks have occurred in a dozen African countries. Some have also been detected on other continents, but in a timely and strange way until today. Its symptoms are similar to those of smallpox, but a little milder.

The first symptoms of monkeypox are:

  • Muscle pains.
  • Fever.
  • headache _

After the first 24 hours and up to three days after the fever, skin rashes can form that usually affect the face and, later, the rest of the body. These eruptions go through different stages before the final formation of a scab that falls off naturally.

The most affected areas are the face, feet and hands. The lesions produced are variable: from few to thousands, mainly affecting the buccal mucosa and, to a lesser extent, the genitals, the palpebral conjunctiva and the eyeball.

How monkeypox is transmitted

The main route of transmission of the disease is from wild animals to humans. In contrast, between people, monkeypox is considered not to be highly contagious. Close contact is necessary, since transmission occurs through body fluids such as wounds, mucous membranes and sexual fluids.

Monkeypox can also be transmitted indirectly through contact with objects containing traces of these fluids, which also include saliva droplets. Among the cases detected in Europe so far, most are between people and for having unprotected sex. In addition, according to some studies [1], the transmission of the disease by aerosols is not ruled out but has not yet been confirmed.

Contact with material from the monkeypox scab or exudate from the lesion, as well as viral excretion via feces, also represent sources of disease exposure.

The risk factors for contagion of monkeypox best known so far are the following:

  • Contact with animals, both living and dead, through hunting.
  • Consumption of meat from wild animals or game.

The incubation period for this disease is approximately 6 to 13 days, although it can range between 5 and 21 days. The symptoms disappear spontaneously after two to three weeks.

Although most patients recover from monkeypox within a few weeks, approximately 5% of cases become complicated, leading to hepatitis or pneumonia. In extreme cases, the disease can cause death. Normally, it has been associated with tourists who have traveled to West African countries, but recent outbreaks in European and North American countries have caused a global health alarm.

What is it and what are the symptoms of monkeypox?

An orthopoxviral belonging to the smallpox family is the cause of this disease. It is called monkeypox due to its discovery in these animals in 1958, although it can also be found in rodents. The first case detected in humans was in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Since 1970, monkeypox outbreaks have occurred in a dozen African countries. Some have also been detected on other continents, but in a timely and strange way until today. Its symptoms are similar to those of smallpox, but a little milder.

The first symptoms of monkeypox are:

  • Muscle pains.
  • Fever.
  • headache.

After the first 24 hours and up to three days after the fever, skin rashes can form that usually affect the face and, later, the rest of the body. These eruptions go through different stages before the final formation of a scab that falls off naturally.

The most affected areas are the face, feet and hands. The lesions produced are variable: from few to thousands, mainly affecting the buccal mucosa and, to a lesser extent, the genitals, the palpebral conjunctiva and the eyeball.

How monkeypox is transmitted

The main route of transmission of the disease is from wild animals to humans. In contrast, between people, monkeypox is considered not to be highly contagious. Close contact is necessary, since transmission occurs through body fluids such as wounds, mucous membranes and sexual fluids.

Monkeypox can also be transmitted indirectly through contact with objects containing traces of these fluids, which also include saliva droplets. Among the cases detected in Europe so far, most are between people and for having unprotected sex. In addition, according to some studies [1], the transmission of the disease by aerosols is not ruled out but has not yet been confirmed.

Contact with material from the monkeypox scab or exudate from the lesion, as well as viral excretion via feces, also represent sources of disease exposure.

The risk factors for contagion of monkeypox best known so far are the following:

  • Contact with animals, both living and dead, through hunting.
  • Consumption of meat from wild animals or game.

The incubation period for this disease is approximately 6 to 13 days, although it can range between 5 and 21 days. The symptoms disappear spontaneously after two to three weeks.

Although most patients recover from monkeypox within a few weeks, approximately 5% of cases become complicated, leading to hepatitis or pneumonia. In extreme cases, the disease can cause death. Normally, it has been associated with tourists who have traveled to West African countries, but recent outbreaks in European and North American countries have caused a global health alarm.

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