ated or approved for use in the United States. Likewise, technologies to produce effective vaccines that can rapidly and effectively protect an animal and also allow paired diagnostic tests to distinguish vaccinated from exposed animals (marker vaccines and diagnostics) exist for other animal diseases but are not yet developed or readily available for FMD control. The lessons reported from the 2001 U.K. FMD outbreak indicate that there is an immediate and ongoing need to provide for the development and critical evaluation of advancing technologies for vaccines, as well as detection and diagnostic assays for disease prevention, detection, and control.
Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that is found mostly in the rain forest countries of Central and West Africa. The disease is called “monkeypox” because it was first discovered in laboratory monkeys in 1958. Blood tests of animals in Africa later found evidence that monkeypox is primarily an infection of rodent species. The virus that causes monkeypox was recovered from an African squirrel, which may be the natural host. Laboratory studies showed that the virus can also infect rats, mice, and rabbits (Khodakevich et al., 1986; Hutin et al., 2001).
In 1970, monkeypox was identified as the cause of a rash illness in humans in remote African locations (Landyl et al., 1972; CDC, 2003b). Interestingly, in retrospect some monkeypox may have been misdiagnosed in humans prior to this time as mild smallpox but was easily identified as a separate disease after smallpox was eradicated (Ogden, 1987). In early June 2003, monkeypox was reported among several residents in the United States who became ill after having contact with sick companion animal prairie dogs. (See Box 3-3 for a description of the case.) This is the first evidence of monkeypox in the United States.
There was no formal provision for monitoring monkeypox in these animals by an appropriately trained health professional at the point of origin in Ghana, at the importer, or from the importer on into the United States. Because of the lack of records, 178 (23 percent) of the original 762 African rodents could not be traced beyond the Texas importer (CDC, 2003e). Furthermore, there were no health examinations, certificates, or individual animal identification required for the prairie dogs exposed to