Volume 26, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



A 5-year-old boy living in a small camp in the rural Ivory Coast had a disease resembling smallpox. This occurred 4 years after smallpox had been eradicated from the Ivory Coast and 1.5 years after the last case of smallpox was detected in West and Central Africa. Clinical, serological, and epidemiological evidence indicated this disease was probably monkeypox, a poxvirus of the variola/vaccinia subgroup. A serologic survey of poxvirus antibodies in the wild animal population detected neutralizing antibodies in rodents, larger mammals, primates, and birds. The laboratory and ecological characteristics of poxviruses require further elucidation, especially those which have been found in animals near human monkeypox cases.


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