As Kiwi health officials prepare for a possible monkeypox outbreak in Aotearoa New Zealand, the associate health minister is reassuring people the disease is unlikely to spawn a major local epidemic.
This week on In the Loop podcast, hosts Cheree Kinnear and Katie Harris give listeners a rundown on the virus and what the experts are saying.
The illness was first identified by scientists in 1958 when there were two outbreaks of a "pox-like" disease in research monkeys - thus the name monkeypox.
The first known human infection was in 1970, in a 9-year-old boy in a remote part of Congo.
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Recently disease has been detected in 12 countries where the virus is not endemic, the World Health Organisation said.
The virus has been spreading in North America, Europe and Australia.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in humans, monkeypox symptoms were similar to but milder than smallpox symptoms.
Infected people might initially experience fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion.