Mpox (formerly known as monkeypox) is a disease caused by the mpox virus. Its symptoms are similar to smallpox, but the disease is less contagious and less severe. In November 2022, the World Health Organization began using “mpox” as the preferred term for the disease in order to minimize stigma and other concerns associated with “monkeypox.”
The mpox virus, a member of the genus Orthopoxvirus, is closely related to the variola virus that causes human smallpox, as well as the vaccinia virus used in smallpox vaccines, and cowpox virus. Since smallpox was deemed to be globally eradicated in 1980, mpox has become the most important orthopoxviral disease in terms of public health.