Smallpox drug helped treat monkeypox in one UK patient in 2021

A drug developed for smallpox was given to a person with monkeypox in 2021, and it seemed to shorten their illness compared with other cases


24 May 2022

Smallpox treatment may be useful for monkeypox cases

Westend61 GmbH / Alamy

An antiviral treatment developed for smallpox was successful in treating monkeypox – although so far results have been reported for only one person, so it is too soon to know how well it works.

A study of seven people who caught monkeypox since 2018 also found that people may be infectious for longer than we thought, as some people tested positive for the virus on throat swabs for days after their skin lesions had healed, the point at which it was thought that …

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