Vet who caught monkeypox from prairie dog suffered ‘flu-like’ symptoms

Vet who caught monkeypox from prairie dog suffered 'flu-like' symptoms. Credit Wikimedia

Vet who caught monkeypox from prairie dog suffered ‘flu-like’ symptoms

Dr Kurt Zaeske who lives in Wisconsin caught the virus in 1003 during the USA’s biggest ever outbreak.

Zaeske caught monkeypox after tending to sick prairie dogs at a breeding farm and, according to the Mail Online, the illness had left him with fatigue, nausea, fever and feeling dizzy.

After a few days of contracting the virus small lesions erupted all over his body. When a very painful blister appeared on his thumb Zaeske was in fear that he might lose the digit.

Zaeske took a course of antibiotics and the disease had cleared within weeks.

The news comes as monkeypox sweeps across the western world with more than 221 cases detected in 24 countries. It seems to be hitting Europe hardest.

Experts have warned that the outbreak of the disease, endemic to West Africa, was just waiting to happen as the end of smallpox vaccination drives in the 1970s have left people less than 50 years old with no protection against the virus.

If you get infected with monkeypox, it usually takes between 5 and 21 days for the first symptoms to appear.

The first symptoms of monkeypox include: a high temperature, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen glands, shivering (chills) and exhaustion. A rash usually appears 1 to 5 days after the first symptoms. The rash often begins on the face, then spreads to other parts of the body.

The rash is sometimes confused with chicken pox. It starts as raised spots, which turn into small blisters filled with fluid. These blisters eventually form scabs which later fall off.

The symptoms usually clear up in 2 to 4 weeks.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from the UK, Anna is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at