Monkeypox found in 3 states

At least four people and possibly dozens have been infected with monkeypox, a non-fatal disease that causes rashes and a fever.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | June 9, 2003


At least four people and possibly dozens have been infected with monkeypox, a non-fatal disease that causes rashes and a fever.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 18 people in Wisconsin are suspected of suffering from the virus and four are confirmed. At least 11 more cases in Indiana and three in Illinois are suspected.

The virus spread from an African rat to prairie dogs to humans, said the CDC. Most of those infected had been around prairie dogs, and nobody appeared to have contracted the virus from another person, though that may be possible.

The disease has a 12-day incubation period.

The outbreak marks the first appearance of the disease in the western hemisphere. It has been detected mostly in west African nations.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture issued a warning against letting prairie dogs loose into the wild. The warning also instructed state humane societies to isolate prairie dogs people bring in. The department was planning to issue an emergency order this week banning the sale, importation and display of prairie dogs.


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