The recent re-emergence of human monkeypox: Would it become endemic beyond Africa?

J Infect Public Health. 2023 Jan 18;16(3):332-340. doi: 10.1016/j.jiph.2023.01.011. Online ahead of print.


Viral outbreaks still become global health challenges, for instance, influenza A viruses, Japanese encephalitis, Ebola virus, Yellow fever, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Since 7 May 2022, another outbreak of monkeypox also has been reported in European countries and the United States. Meanwhile, the monkeypox virus is previously endemic only in the western and central parts of Africa. Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease, although the primary animal reservoir remains unknown. This article concisely reviews the monkeypox virus, its transmission, pathogenesis, and clinical manifestation, its changing global epidemiology before and during the current outbreak, and possible driving factors of the recent outbreak. Furthermore, we also discuss whether the monkeypox virus would become endemic beyond Africa. Even though the available data suggests that human-to-human transmission is currently happening and unconnected clusters exist, many efforts have been made to tackle this outbreak, such as active case detection, contact tracing, isolation, and postexposure vaccination.

Keywords: Epidemiology; Monkeypox; Orthopoxvirus; Outbreak; Smallpox.

Publication types

  • Review