Cases of Monkeypox

Cases of Monkeypox

The ancient scourge smallpox was relegated to biowaste bin of history more than 30 years ago, the result of the world’s first and only successful disease eradication programs. Since then, however, cases of monkeypox—a serious, although less severe smallpoxlike illness—have substantially increased in central Africa, according to a study published August 30 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The authors stress that better surveillance and a thorough assessment of the public health threat posed by this once-rare viral infection are needed.

“I’m concerned about monkeypox,” says Don Burke director of the Center for Vaccine Research at the University of Pittsburgh, who wasn’t involved in the study. “It isn’t going to emerge as pandemic tomorrow, but could at any time start to increase its transmission. It’s worrisome. This is the type of warning siren we need to take very seriously.”

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