• A zoonotic disease
  • Caused by an orthopoxvirus,
  • Initially diagnosed in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), it has spread to other regions of Africa (primarily West and Central), and cases outside Africa have emerged in recent years.
  • Overall case fatality rate of 8.7%
  • Interactions with infected animals or individuals are risk behaviors associated with acquiring monkeypox.

Clinical Features[2]

  • Results in a smallpox-like disease in humans.
  • The incubation period (interval from infection to onset of symptoms) of monkeypox can range from 5 to 21 days.
  • Typically presents clinically with fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes.
  • Mostly transmitted to people from wild animals such as rodents and primates, but human-to-human transmission also occurs
  • Transmitted from one person to another by contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding
  • Characterized by fever, intense headache, lymphadenopathy myalgia and lethargy.
    • Lymphadenopathy is a distinctive feature of monkeypox compared to other diseases that may initially appear similar (e.g. chickenpox, measles, smallpox).
  • Skin eruption usually begins within 1-3 days of appearance of fever.
    • The rash tends to be more concentrated on the face and extremities rather than on the trunk.
    • It affects the face (in 95% of cases), and palms of the hands and soles of the feet (in 75% of cases).
    • Also affected are oral mucous membranes (in 70% of cases), genitalia (30%), and conjunctivae (20%), as well as the cornea.
    • The rash evolves sequentially from macules to papules, vesicles, pustules, and finally, crusting, which dry up and fall off.
    • The number of the lesions varies from a few to several thousand.
      • In severe cases, lesions can coalesce until large sections of skin slough off.

Differential Diagnosis

  • Measles
  • Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia (MEN)

Vesiculobullous rashes




  • Currently, there is no proven, safe treatment for monkeypox virus infection. For purposes of controlling a monkeypox outbreak in the United States, smallpox vaccine, antivirals, and vaccinia immune globulin (VIG) can be used. [3]
  • Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting from 2 to 4 weeks.
  • Severe cases occur more commonly among children and are related to the extent of virus exposure, patient health status and nature of complications.
  • Treatment is mostly supportive but treat potential complications of monkeypox such as secondary infections, bronchopneumonia, sepsis, encephalitis, and infection of the cornea with ensuing loss of vision.



  • Otherwise healthy
    • Contact public health services before discharge
      • Instructions for home isolation and follow up at appropriate clinic to receive meds


  • Ill-appearing
  • Diagnosis is uncertain
  • Patient is treatment non-adherent

See Also

External Links


  1. Bunge EM, Hoet B, Chen L, Lienert F, Weidenthaler H, Baer LR, et al. (2022) The changing epidemiology of human monkeypox—A potential threat? A systematic review. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 16(2): e0010141.
  2. World Health Organization. (n.d.). Monkeypox. World Health Organization. Retrieved May 19, 2022, from
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, July 16). Treatment. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved May 19, 2022, from