monkeypox viral particles

Monkeypox is a disease caused by the monkeypox virus, a pathogen closely related to variola virus, which causes smallpox. Monkeypox and smallpox infections trigger similar symptoms, but monkeypox tends to be far milder by comparison. 

What is the monkeypox virus?

Monkeypox virus is DNA virus spread from animals and in the genus Orthopoxvirus. (Image credit: BSIP SA / Alamy)

The monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus within the Poxviridae family of viruses. Other viruses in the Orthopoxvirus genus include the viruses that cause variola (smallpox), cowpox and camelpox, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (opens in new tab) (CDC). 

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