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Monkeypox virus - an overview for primary care nurses

Tropical disease
Sarah Kipps explains what nurses need to know when treating a suspected case of monkeypox

In 6 May 2022 the first reported case of Monkeypox virus was identified in the UK. This virus is usually confined to Central and Western African countries. Since May the virus has spread through a section of the population, mainly confined to England and most specifically in London.


Monkeypox virus (MPV) is classified as a zoonotic infection. Zoonotic infections are diseases that can be transmitted to humans from animals. Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 when outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in monkeys kept for research. The first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and since then the infection has been reported in a number of central and western African countries.

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