The mpox (monkeypox) virus was first isolated and identified in 1959 when monkeys shipped from Singapore to a Denmark research facility fell ill. However, the first confirmed human case was in 1970 when the virus was isolated from a child in the Democratic Republic of Congo suspected to have smallpox.
Coincident immunity to the mpox virus was previously achieved with vaccinia vaccination; however, eradicating smallpox and subsequent lack of vaccination efforts paved the way for mpox to gain clinical relevance. Furthermore, because most cases of mpox occur in rural Africa, suspected underreporting may translate to an underestimation of the potential threat of this pathogen.
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