What is Monkeypox?

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Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (disease caused by viruses transmitted from animals to humans) that produces symptoms similar to those seen in smallpox patients in the past, although less severe. Smallpox occurs mainly in central and western Africa, often near tropical rainforests, although its occurrence is increasing in urban areas. Animal hosts include a variety of rodents and non-human primates.

Causal Agent

The simian pox virus is a double-stranded enveloped DNA virus belonging to the genus Orthopoxvirus of the family Poxviridae. There are two distinct clades of the virus, namely the Central African (Congo Basin) clade and the West African clade.

How is Monkeypox transmitted?

Monkeypox can be spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including: Direct contact with the monkeypox rash, scabs or body fluids of a person with monkeypox. Touching objects, fabrics, clothing and surfaces that have been used by someone with simian pox. Contact with respiratory secretions. This direct contact during sexual intercourse A pregnant person can transmit the virus to her fetus through the placenta.


Signs and Symptoms

El periodo de incubación de la viruela símica suele ser de 6 a 13 días, aunque puede variar entre 5 y 21 días. La infección puede dividirse en dos periodos:

  1. 1. El periodo de invasión dura entre 0 y 5 días, caracterizado por fiebre, cefalea intensa, linfadenopatía, dolor lumbar, mialgias y astenia intensa.
  2. 2. La erupción cutánea suele comenzar 1-3 días después de la aparición de la fiebre y tiende a concentrarse sobre todo en la cara y las extremidades en lugar de en el tronco.


The most common symptoms are: fever above 38°C, cough and headache, accompanied by one or more of the following signs or symptoms:


Clinical care for monkeypox should be optimized as much as possible in order to relieve symptoms, control complications and avoid long-term sequelae. Patients should be offered fluids and food to maintain adequate nutritional status.

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