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Mpox (formerly known as monkeypox) is a zoonotic viral disease endemic in parts of Africa. In May, 2022, the world was alerted to circulation of monkeypox virus in many high-income countries outside of Africa. Continued spread resulted in a WHO declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Although there has been much attention on the global outbreak, most of the focus has been on high-income countries outside of Africa, despite the fact that monkeypox virus has been causing disease in parts of Africa for at least 50 years. Furthermore, the long-term consequences of this event, especially the risk that mpox fills the niche vacated through smallpox eradication, have not been sufficiently considered. The heart of the problem is the historical neglect of mpox in Africa where the disease is endemic, and the actual and potential consequences if this neglect is left uncorrected.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1822 - 1824


Humans, Animals, Smallpox, Monkeypox, Zoonoses, Africa, Disease Outbreaks, Monkeypox virus