Monkeypox cases had previously been discovered in humans in the United States. There were also 47 confirmed and probable cases found in the United States. Transmission of monkeypox virus occurs when a person comes into contact with the virus from an animal, human or materials contaminated with the virus. The virus enters the body through injured skin (even if it is not visible), airways, or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth).
Animal-to-human transmission can occur through biting or scratching, preparation of bushmeat, direct contact with bodily fluids or injured material, or indirect contact with injured material, for example, through contaminated bedding. It is believed that person-to-person transmission occurs mainly through large respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets are usually unable to travel more than a few feet, so prolonged face-to-face contact is required. Other methods of person-to-person transmission include direct contact with bodily fluids or injury material, and indirect contact with injury material, such as through contaminated clothing or bedding.
Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a smallpox disease occurred in colonies of monkeys bred for research, hence the name “monkeypox”. Since then, monkeypox has been reported in humans in other countries in Central and West Africa. Historically, cases outside of Africa have been less common and are usually related to international travel or imported animals. Previous cases have been reported in Israel, the United Kingdom and the United Kingdom.
Humans can get monkeypox from animals, either through bites or scratches or by preparing wild game meat, according to the CDC.
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