Dramatic rise in monkeypox

Cases of monkeypox, a disease caused by a DNA virus closely related to smallpox and cowpox, have increased dramatically in rural villages in the heart of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to researchers working in the war-ravaged African country.A monkeypox patient in Lomela, Congo.The patient,who was examined by epidemiologist Anne Rimoin,eventually died from monkeypox-related complications.Image courtesy of Anne Rimoin Reporting their linkurl:results;http://www.pnas.org/conten

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Aug 30, 2010
Cases of monkeypox, a disease caused by a DNA virus closely related to smallpox and cowpox, have increased dramatically in rural villages in the heart of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to researchers working in the war-ravaged African country.
A monkeypox patient in Lomela, Congo.The patient,
who was examined by epidemiologist Anne Rimoin,
eventually died from monkeypox-related complications.
Image courtesy of Anne Rimoin
Reporting their linkurl:results;http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/08/24/1005769107.abstract online at __PNAS__, an international team of scientists found that within one area the average annual incidence of monkeypox between November 2006 and November 2007 increased by about 20 times compared to the average annual incidence recorded in the 5 years between 1981 and 1986, the last time scientists actively monitored the study population. Though monkeypox is seldom fatal, the alarming increase in the DRC, where monitoring is sporadic at best, means that the disease has the potential to emerge as one...
Anne RimoinDon Burke
Monkeys are a common food source and are easily found
in local villages. But they may harbor infectious diseases.
Image courtesy of Anne Rimoin
Rimoin discusses the dangers of bushmeat hunting with
local hunters in the Sankuru district.
Image courtesy of Anne Rimoin
A. Rimoin, et al., linkurl:"Major increase in human monkeypox incidence 30 years after smallpox vaccination campaigns cease in the Democratic Republic of Congo,";http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/08/24/1005769107.abstract __PNAS__, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1005769107, 2010.


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