Extended interhuman transmission of monkeypox in a hospital community in the Republic of the Congo, 2003

Lynne A. Learned, Mary G. Reynolds, Demole Wassa Wassa, Yu Li, Victoria A. Olson, Kevin Karem, Linda L. Stempora, Zach H. Braden, Richard Kline, Anna Likos, François Libama, Henri Moudzeo, Jean Daniel Bolanda, Paul Tarangonia, Paul Boumandoki, Pierre Formenty, Joseph M. Harvey, Inger K. Damon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

258 Scopus citations


This report describes the first reported outbreak of human monkeypox in the Republic of Congo. Eleven confirmed and probable monkeypox cases were observed during this outbreak, all were less than 18 years old, and most resided on the grounds of the Government Hospital in Impfondo. Molecular, virologic, and serologic, and diagnostic assays were used to detect evidence of monkeypox (or orthopox) virus infection in individuals with striking dermatologic and other clinical manifestations. The majority of cases in this outbreak experienced significant, symptomatic illnesses; there was one death, possibly involving secondary complications, and one instance of profound sequelae. Up to six sequential transmissions of monkeypox virus from person to person are hypothesized to have occurred, making this the longest uninterrupted chain of human monkeypox fully documented to date. The pattern of sustained human-to-human transmission observed during this outbreak may influence our current perception of the capacity for this zoonotic virus to adapt to humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-434
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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