1. Overview

Monkeypox is an infectious disease caused by a virus that is transmitted from animals to humans, but which can also be transmitted from human to human.

To date, monkeypox has caused several outbreaks in West and Central Africa (endemic regions). Previously reported cases in other continents have always been associated with travel to the affected areas. 

In Switzerland, the first case of monkeypox was detected in Bern on 21 May 2022. By 2 July 2022, 115 cases had been laboratory confirmed in Switzerland. By 4 July, approximately 6,200 cases had been diagnosed in about 50 countries that are not usually endemic for this disease, the majority of which are in Europe.

In Geneva, 31 cases have been reported to date.

Although the situation is not alarming, it needs to be closely monitored to limit spread of disease among the population.

The virus was named "Monkeypox" in 1958 in Denmark. At that time the virus was still unknown and had only been diagnosed in monkeys. Current knowledge shows that the virus infects various animal species and not mainly monkeys (for example, rodents play an important role in transmission). The disease was first diagnosed in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Since its discovery in humans, outbreaks have been rare, with very few patients. For this reason, scientists currently do not have all the answers regarding this virus.

See also 
Pages updated regularly according to the latest findings of scientific research.
Last updated
4 July 2022

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