Why is it called monkeypox?

Monkeypox was until now a disease unknown to a large part of the Spanish population.because the recorded cases of this virus in Europe have historically been very limited.

Some experts in the field, such as the virologist Margarita de Val or Fernando Simón, director of the Center for Coordination of Alerts and Health Emergencies, have offered information to the public about the symptoms of this disease and its transmission capacity in humans. However, there is one question that continues to intrigue us: is itWhy is it so called?

Origin of the name

The reason this virus adopted the name monkeypox is very simple. As explained by the U.S. National Public Health Agency (CDCThis type of disease, which is similar to smallpox, was discovered in 1958 in colonies of monkeys used for research. Hence the name remained monkeypox (‘).Monkeypox‘ in English).

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The first human case was recorded 12 years later, in 1970, in the body of a 9-year-old boy in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since then, the virus has been localized in 11 African countries and has been exported to other continents on several occasions, as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Common confusions

As has happened with other historical diseases such as. the Spanish flu -whose name suggests an equivocal origin- the name of monkeypox can also lead to the creation of some confusion. As explained in the WHOinfection with simian smallpox has been detected in several species of animalsalthough it is mostly transmitted by wild mice.

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The list of species that can infect it includes squirrels, Gambian giant rats, four-striped mice, African dwarf dormice, and finally primates. The name, still, refers only to apes, which transmit the disease to a lesser extent..

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