Monkeypox is a disease similar to smallpox that causes the variola virus. Unlike smallpox, monkeypox is not fatal but can cause XYZ symptoms. 

Recently, the number of monkeypox infections has increased worldwide, making it a source of concern for many individuals for fear of becoming the next global epidemic.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) confirmed a total number of 16 cases of the monkeypox virus.


The incubation period for monkeypox (the time interval from infection to symptom onset) is usually 6 to 13 days but can be anywhere from 5 to 21 days.

Infection can be divided into two periods:

  • Invasive period (lasting between 0 and 5 days), characterized by fever, severe headache, swollen lymph nodes, back and muscle pain, and severe weakness (loss of energy). 
  • The rash period usually begins within 1 to 3 days of the onset of the fever. The rash is most often concentrated on the face and extremities, rather than the trunk. It affects the face (in 95% of cases), the palms of the hands, and the soles of the feet (in 75% of cases). The mucous membranes of the mouth (70% of cases), the genitals (30%), the conjunctiva (20%), and the cornea. 

Disease Transmission

Infection can be transmitted from animal to human through direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, skin lesions, or mucous secretions of infected animals. The natural reservoir of monkeypox has not yet been identified, although rodents are the most likely source. Eating undercooked meat and other animal products derived from infected animals is a potential risk factor. People living in or near forested areas may have indirect or reduced exposure to infected animals.

Human-to-human transmission can result from close contact with respiratory secretions, skin lesions of an infected person, or recently contaminated objects. Transmission by respiratory droplets usually requires prolonged, face-to-face contact, which puts health workers, family members, and other people in contact with active cases at an increased risk of infection. 

While close physical contact is a known risk factor for transmission, it is not yet clear whether monkeypox is specifically transmitted through sexual transmission. 


The clinical differential diagnosis that should be considered includes other rash diseases, such as chickenpox, measles, bacterial skin infections, scabies, syphilis, and drug allergies. 

Other rash conditions that should be taken into consideration when making a clinical differential diagnosis include drug allergies, chickenpox, measles, bacterial skin infections, scabies, and syphilis.

If monkeypox is suspected, health workers must take an appropriate sample and transfer it safely to a laboratory with appropriate capabilities for examination. Confirmation of monkeypox depends on the type and quality of the sample and the type of laboratory examination. Hence, samples must be packed and shipped in accordance with national and international requirements. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is preferred as a laboratory test due to its accuracy and sensitivity. 


Clinical monkeypox care must be fully optimized to relieve symptoms, manage complications, and prevent long-term consequences. Patients will also need adequate fluids and food to maintain their good nutritional status. 


The primary prevention strategy for monkeypox is to raise awareness of risk factors and educate people about measures they can take to reduce exposure to the virus. 

  • Keep your distance from individuals who have a rash that resembles monkeypox.
  • After coming into contact with an infected person or animal, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching any clothing, blankets, bedding, or other items that have come into contact with an infected person or animal.

If you were potentially exposed to an infected person or animal, please make sure you reach out or teleconsult with a doctor as soon as you can.