Monkey pox first made its appearance in humans in 1970. It is believed to be derived from African rodents, specifically the multimammate rat.
An outbreak of monkey pox occurred in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa, in 1996 and 1997 and the virus was identified as its own unique strain from the Variola virus, which causes smallpox. It was determined to be a zoonotic disease which means that it can be transmitted from animals to people. There is also evidence that monkey pox can spread from person to person.
The World Health Organization reports that Monkey pox usually presents itself as a mild rash illness, with some cases becoming more severe, depending on the strength of immune system of the person infected.