mon·​key·​pox | \ ˈməŋ-kē-ˌpäks How to pronounce monkeypox (audio) \

Definition of monkeypox

: a rare virus disease especially of central and western Africa that is caused by a poxvirus (species Monkeypox virus of the genus Orthopoxvirus), occurs chiefly in wild rodents and primates, and when transmitted to humans resembles smallpox but is milder

Examples of monkeypox in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web New cases were reported of Middle East respiratory syndrome in the Middle East, of Ebola and monkeypox in the Congo, of monkey fever in India, and of wild poliovirus type 1 in Pakistan. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's Magazine, "Findings," 25 May 2020 Exotic pet rodents were implicated as the likely source of an outbreak of monkeypox in the Midwest in 2003. Popular Science, "Vets, farmers, and zookeepers can help prevent the next pandemic," 20 May 2020 Its recommendations discouraged basing nomenclature on geographic locations (Japanese encephalitis), proper names (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease), species of animals and food (monkeypox), or cultural and occupational references (Legionnaires’ disease). Eren Orbey, The New Yorker, "What’s at Stake in a Virus’s Name," 25 Mar. 2020 In northern Nigeria, work to eradicate polio is being derailed by dangerously false rumors that the vaccine is contaminated with antifertility agents and that vaccine deployment is a ploy to infect children with the monkeypox virus. Lynne Peeples, Scientific American, "Rethinking Herd Immunity," 14 Nov. 2019 The reason for those restrictions is that monkeys and primates can spread severe infections to humans, including yellow fever, tuberculosis, and monkeypox — which in humans is similar to smallpox, the CDC says. Phil Helsel, NBC News, "Search is on for primate after Texas residents report seeing one on the loose," 11 Sep. 2019 Karnatakan monkeys were found dead from Kyasanur Forest disease, and rope squirrels were suspected of spreading monkeypox in the Central African Republic. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's magazine, "Findings," 10 Apr. 2019 Nigeria had other outbreaks last year including cholera, hepatitis, monkeypox, Lassa and yellow fevers, showing the challenges to the country’s health care system. Washington Post, "Nigeria’s Boko Haram extremists hamper polio eradication," 16 Apr. 2018 The United States experienced a monkeypox outbreak in 2003. Washington Post, "The story must be told.," 3 Nov. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'monkeypox.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of monkeypox

1959, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of monkeypox was in 1959

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Cite this Entry

“Monkeypox.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

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mon·​key·​pox | \ ˈməŋ-kē-ˌpäks How to pronounce monkeypox (audio) \

Medical Definition of monkeypox

: a rare virus disease especially of rain forest areas of central and western Africa that is caused by a poxvirus of the genus Orthopoxvirus (species Monkeypox virus), that occurs in wild rodents and primates and in captive monkeys, and that when transmitted to humans resembles smallpox but is milder

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