image of Do Monkeypox Exposures Vary by Ethnicity? Comparison of Aka- and Bantu-Suspected Monkeypox Cases
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


In 2017, a monkeypox outbreak occurred in Likouala Department, Republic of the Congo. Many of the affected individuals were of Aka ethnicity, hunter-gatherers indigenous to Central Africa who have worse health outcomes in comparison with other forest-dwelling peoples. To test the hypothesis that Aka people have different risk factors for monkeypox, we analyzed questionnaire data for 39 suspected cases, comparing Aka and Bantu groups. Aka people were more likely to touch animal urine/feces, find dead animals in/around the home, eat an animal that was found dead, or to have been scratched or bitten by an animal ( < 0.05, all variables). They were also more likely to visit the forest ≥ once/week, sleep outside, or sleep on the ground ( < 0.001, all variables), providing opportunities for contact with monkeypox reservoirs during the night. The Aka and possibly other vulnerable groups may warrant special attention during educational and health promotion programs.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 16 Jun 2019
  • Accepted : 30 Aug 2019
  • Published online : 25 Nov 2019
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