Monkeypox Outbreak: Origins, Transmission, and Public Health Responses

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1000 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Oct 25, 2023

Words: 1000|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Oct 25, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Introduction to Monkeypox
  2. Roots of the Outbreak: Investigating the Causes and Transmission Modalities of the US Monkeypox Outbreak
  3. Public Health Protocols: Discussing the Measures Implemented by Public Health Organizations to Control the Outbreak
  4. Conclusion

The emergence of infectious diseases has always posed significant challenges to public health organizations worldwide. Monkeypox, a viral zoonotic disease caused by the monkeypox virus, is one such example. In recent years, the world witnessed the outbreak of monkeypox in the United States, bringing to light the need for a comprehensive understanding of this disease, its origins, transmission, and the public health responses deployed to control it.

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Introduction to Monkeypox

Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious disease that belongs to the Orthopoxvirus family, which also includes smallpox and cowpox viruses. The disease is primarily found in Central and West Africa, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where it was first identified in 1970. Monkeypox virus can infect both humans and animals, making it a zoonotic disease.

Symptoms of monkeypox in humans include fever, headache, muscle aches, and a characteristic rash that progresses to pustules. These symptoms can range from mild to severe, and severe cases may result in complications such as pneumonia. The virus is transmitted to humans from animals, primarily rodents and monkeys. Additionally, human-to-human transmission can occur through respiratory droplets, direct contact with lesions or body fluids of infected individuals, or contaminated objects.

Several risk factors increase the susceptibility to monkeypox. These include close contact with infected animals, consumption of undercooked meat from infected animals, and a lack of immunity due to vaccination or prior exposure to the virus. The risk is higher in areas where monkeypox is endemic, as people may frequently come into contact with infected animals.

Roots of the Outbreak: Investigating the Causes and Transmission Modalities of the US Monkeypox Outbreak

The US monkeypox outbreak in recent years raised concerns and prompted a thorough investigation into its causes and transmission modalities. The outbreak in the United States was linked to pet prairie dogs that were infected with monkeypox virus. Prairie dogs, which are native to North America, were found to have been exposed to the virus through imported African rodents. The chain of transmission started with these imported rodents and subsequently spread to the prairie dogs.

The importation of exotic animals, including rodents and primates, is a significant factor in the introduction of diseases like monkeypox into non-endemic regions. The exotic pet trade can lead to the transport of animals that may carry zoonotic pathogens without proper screening or quarantine measures. In the case of the US monkeypox outbreak, the virus was introduced to pet prairie dogs through this trade, highlighting the potential risks associated with the global movement of animals.

Once the virus entered the prairie dog population, it quickly spread among them. Prairie dogs are highly social animals, and their close interactions facilitated the transmission of the virus within their colonies. Infected prairie dogs that were purchased as pets by individuals unknowingly exposed those individuals to monkeypox virus.

The human-to-human transmission of monkeypox is another critical aspect of the outbreak. In the US outbreak, cases of secondary transmission were observed among close contacts of infected individuals. This is concerning, as it indicates that the virus can spread within the human population, potentially leading to more extensive outbreaks.

Public Health Protocols: Discussing the Measures Implemented by Public Health Organizations to Control the Outbreak

Public health organizations played a pivotal role in responding to the monkeypox outbreak in the United States. Their actions aimed to control the spread of the virus, provide medical care to affected individuals, and prevent further transmission. Several key public health protocols were implemented:

  • Isolation and Quarantine: Infected individuals were isolated in healthcare facilities to prevent further transmission. Close contacts of infected individuals were also placed under quarantine to monitor for symptoms and prevent potential spread.
  • Contact Tracing: Public health officials conducted thorough contact tracing to identify individuals who had been in close contact with confirmed cases. These contacts were closely monitored for symptoms, and appropriate measures were taken if they developed symptoms.
  • Vaccination: In some cases, vaccination with the smallpox vaccine was administered to individuals exposed to monkeypox virus. While the smallpox vaccine does not provide complete protection against monkeypox, it can reduce the severity of the disease.
  • Public Awareness: Public health agencies disseminated information to raise awareness about monkeypox, its symptoms, and preventive measures. This included educating healthcare providers, pet owners, and the general public.
  • Enhanced Surveillance: Surveillance systems were enhanced to detect and report suspected monkeypox cases promptly. This allowed for rapid response and containment of the outbreak.
  • Research and Collaboration: Public health agencies collaborated with research institutions to better understand the virus and its transmission dynamics. This research contributed to the development of strategies for controlling the outbreak.
  • International Cooperation: Given the global nature of the exotic pet trade and the potential for disease spread across borders, international cooperation and information sharing were crucial in tracking the source of the virus and preventing further importation.

The response to the US monkeypox outbreak highlighted the importance of a multifaceted approach in controlling infectious diseases. It involved a combination of medical interventions, public health measures, education, and collaboration between various stakeholders. This approach was necessary to mitigate the risks associated with monkeypox transmission and prevent a more widespread outbreak.


In conclusion, the monkeypox outbreak in the United States shed light on the challenges posed by zoonotic diseases, particularly those with the potential for human-to-human transmission. Monkeypox, caused by the monkeypox virus, presents a range of symptoms and risk factors, making it a disease of concern, especially in endemic regions. The US outbreak traced its roots to the importation of exotic animals and highlighted the risks associated with the global movement of animals carrying zoonotic pathogens.

Public health organizations played a crucial role in responding to the outbreak, implementing measures such as isolation, contact tracing, vaccination, and public awareness campaigns. The collaborative efforts of various stakeholders, including healthcare providers, researchers, and international partners, were essential in controlling the outbreak.

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As we continue to face emerging infectious diseases, the lessons learned from the US monkeypox outbreak emphasize the need for vigilance, preparedness, and cooperation on a global scale. Understanding the origins, transmission, and public health responses to diseases like monkeypox is essential to protect public health and prevent future outbreaks.

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Monkeypox Outbreak: Origins, Transmission, and Public Health Responses. (2023, October 25). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
“Monkeypox Outbreak: Origins, Transmission, and Public Health Responses.” GradesFixer, 25 Oct. 2023,
Monkeypox Outbreak: Origins, Transmission, and Public Health Responses. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 May 2024].
Monkeypox Outbreak: Origins, Transmission, and Public Health Responses [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Oct 25 [cited 2024 May 26]. Available from:
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