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The World in Medicine
January 14, 1998

Suspected Monkeypox Outbreak

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JAMA. 1998;279(2):101. doi:10.1001/jama.279.2.101-JWM71007-4-1

The largest reported outbreak of suspected monkeypox is being investigated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In its December 5 Weekly Epidemiological Report, the World Health Organization (WHO) said 511 cases of suspected monkeypox were identified between February 1996 and October 1997. According to WHO officials, about three fourths of the infections were human-to-human transmissions. Serum has been collected from more than 300 cases, and last month laboratory analyses were ongoing. Preliminary results showed 9 confirmed monkeypox virus infections and 4 varicella zoster infections. Varicella is often confused with monkeypox, WHO officials said.

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