Monkeypox and Human Smallpox: These Are the Similarities and Differences between Them

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    The symptoms of monkeypox are milder than those of human smallpox, according to experts. Monkeypox is a disease that has been recorded mainly in Central and West Africa, but recent cases in countries such as the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, and the United States have set off the alarms of the World Health Organization. This disease is spread by close contact of people with infected wild animals or from person to person through body fluids.

    Monkeypox and human smallpox have a different origin, as explained by epidemiologist Christian Mejía, professor of the Human Medicine program at Norbert Wiener University. “One of the first differences is about the origin of the virus, which, although it is not smallpox, is very similar. It should be noted that the virus possibly originated from contact and/or consumption of monkey meat in the Congo, around 1970″,Mejía said.

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    Although the symptoms of monkeypox and smallpox are similar, those of the former type are usually milder. According to the epidemiologist, the inflammation of the lymph nodes is a symptom that smallpox does not have. “Although in both cases there are general symptoms such as fever, malaise and fatigue, monkeypox generates an inflammation of the ganglia. Finally, it should be mentioned that smallpox has already been eradicated, but monkeypox is still common in many African countries, which is why it mainly affects those who have not been vaccinated against smallpox”, explained the specialist.

    Currently there is no vaccine against monkeypox. However, the WHO points out that the vaccine against human smallpox has shown the efficacy of 85% against monkeypox. This is because the viruses that cause both diseases are similar. Despite this, the smallpox vaccine is not currently available to people because its production has been discontinued since 1980 after the global eradication of smallpox.

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