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New findings come to light about monkeypox

The monkeypox virus, which had attacked 72 people in US in 2003 in an outbreak// of the disease, did not kill anybody, although it is considered to be fatal disease. A new research unveils that these cases were amongst the few strains of the virus that are not fatal.

Monkeypox is a very rare viral disease said to originate from African continent. It had been so named because it was first identified in monkeys in the laboratory. The symptoms of the disease are usually similar to smallpox, but are mild by nature. However unlike smallpox, this condition causes the lymph glands to swell.

In 2003 there were cases of monkeypox reported in US where the people got infected from the pet dogs that had carried the virus home from other animals.

Researchers for the study had suggested that evidence points out to the strain of virus that had traveled half the globe came from West Africa. This was one of the less virulent virus strains and had been seen in the western world for the first time. One of the reasons for the virus which primarily infects the animals is seen to affect the humans is the fact that human habitats are increasingly encroaching into animal habitat leading to the spread of diseases from the animals to the humans and vice versa.

Reference: Virology, July 2005

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