The death rate of monkeypox is somewhere between 3% to 6%.
Monkeypox is usually a mild disease, according to the WHO, but severe cases can occur.
The case fatality rate of monkeypox is somewhere between 3% to 6%. There are two variants of the disease, known as West Africa and Central Africa — the current outbreak of monkeypox has been linked to the former.
“The West African version of this monkeypox virus is less severe than the Central African one. So this is good news as fewer people are expected to develop serious illness with this variant,” Professor Catherine told the BBC. Bennett, an epidemiologist at Deakin University in Melbourne.
This death rate is far lower than that of smallpox, which has killed tens of millions of people in the past.
Smallpox had two versions: smallpox major and smallpox minor. The largest was the deadliest — with a mortality rate of 30% of cases of infection. The smaller one caused milder illness and rarely led to death.
Something similar happens with monkeypox, albeit with lower mortality rates.
“The West African variant is the mildest, with mortality between 1% and 10%, and appears to be the one causing the outbreak in Europe. The Central African variant, on the other hand, is more virulent and dangerous and can kill around than 20% of those infected,” adds Bennett.
No specific vaccine
Although there is no specific vaccine for this virus, experts believe that the vaccine against smallpox is highly effective, at 85%, because the two viruses are very similar.
The best way to prevent outbreaks is with vaccination: the smallpox vaccine is able to prevent the vast majority of monkeypox cases. Antiviral drugs can also help.
But what has been observed so far is that the monkeypox virus infection ends up healing itself naturally.