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Another Viral Disease: Monkeypox


Monkeypox is an infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus, first identified in 1970 in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. The virus is endemic, or consistently present, in countries including Cameroon, Central Africa, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, and Nigeria.

The Japanese Infectious Disease Control Law categorizes monkeypox as a Category 4 Infectious, but there has never been an outbreak in Japan yet. 

Squirrels and other rodents are natural hosts of monkeypox. This does not make the disease any less threatening for humans; with a fatality rate as high as 10%, monkeypox is an acute eruptive disease that causes similar symptoms to smallpox. 

The incubation period of monkeypox is six days to two weeks. The main symptoms of the disease include fevers, chills, back pain, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes. Rashes appear on an infected individual’s face and limbs within one to three days of a fever. 


Unfortunately, treatment to fight the monkeypox virus itself has yet to exist. As a result, infected individuals only receive treatment to alleviate the symptoms described above. 

Prevention of monkeypox includes avoiding contact with an infected or symptomatic person’s bodily fluids, sanitizing hands regularly, and avoiding eating natural hosts of monkeypox such as rodents, rabbits, and monkeys. 


Although the smallpox vaccine is scientifically proven effective in preventing monkeypox infection and mild symptoms, Japan discontinued the smallpox vaccination in 1976.

As of June 22, 2022, the 55 countries and regions listed below have confirmed cases of monkeypox: 

Benin, Cameroon, Central Africa, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, United States, Venezuela, Lebanon, Morocco, Acehren, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, Australia, Korea, Singapore, Bulgaria, Croatia, Colombia, Taiwan, Peru. 


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