The changing epidemiology of human monkeypox—A potential threat? A systematic review | PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Coherent Identifier About this item: 20.500.12592/qpfd3m

The changing epidemiology of human monkeypox—A potential threat? A systematic review | PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

11 February 2022

Summary

Monkeypox causes a smallpox-like disease in humans. We conducted a systematic review to assess how monkeypox epidemiology has evolved since it was first diagnosed in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In total, human monkeypox has now appeared in 10 African countries and 4 countries elsewhere. Examples include Nigeria, where the disease re-emerged in the last decade after a 40-year hiatus, and the United States, where an outbreak occurred in 2003. The number of cases has increased at a minimum of 10-fold and median age at presentation has evolved from young children (4 years old) in the 1970s to young adults (21 years old) in 2010–2019. This may be related to the cessation of smallpox vaccinations, which provided some cross-protection against monkeypox. The case fatality rate for the Central African clade was 10.6% versus 3.6% for the West African clade. Overall, monkeypox is gradually evolving to become of global relevance. Surveillance and detection programs are essential tools for understanding the continuously changing epidemiology of this resurging disease.

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public health monkeypox

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