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Monkeypox is a rare viral infection similar to human smallpox. It was first discovered in 1958 in monkeys kept for research and the first human case of monkeypox was reported in 1970. The disease occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of Central and West Africa.
Monkeypox typically presents itself with fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes and may lead to a range of medical complications. The disease is usually self-limiting with the symptoms lasting from two to four weeks. Severe cases can also occur. In recent times, the case fatality ratio has reportedly been around 3-6 per cent but can be up to 10 per cent. There are no reported deaths in this current spread.
Any rash-like illness during travel or upon return should be immediately reported to a health professional, including information about all recent travel, sexual history and smallpox immunization history.