This Article is From Aug 22, 2022

What Is The Difference Between Monkeypox & Chickenpox?

Here's everything you need to know about the difference between monkeypox and chickenpox. From symptoms, and origins to how to identify between the two.

What Is The Difference Between Monkeypox & Chickenpox?

Lymph nodes formed in Monkeypox are swollen unlike Chickenpox

Monkeypox and chickenpox are among the most talked about diseases at present. Due to the May 2022 Monkeypox outbreak, a lot of focus has shifted towards monkeypox, chickenpox, smallpox, etc. In this article, we list simple ways in which monkeypox and chickenpox differ from each other.


How did monkeypox originate?

While clinically less severe than smallpox, monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (a virus that spreads from animals to people). It has symptoms that are comparable to those of smallpox. Monkeypox has replaced smallpox as the most significant orthopoxvirus for public health since smallpox was eradicated in 1980 and smallpox vaccinations were subsequently discontinued. Primarily affecting central and west Africa, monkeypox has been spreading into cities and is frequently seen close to tropical rainforests. Numerous rodent species and non-human primates serve as hosts for animals.

What causes monkeypox?

The monkeypox virus has been found to be susceptible to several animal species. This comprises non-human primates, dormice, rope and tree squirrels, Gambian pouched rats, and other species. There is still uncertainty about the monkeypox virus's natural history, and further research is required to pinpoint the precise reservoir or reservoirs and understand how the virus circulates in the wild.

How does one contract it?

Monkeypox can be spread to humans by direct contact with an infected animal, person, or contaminated materials. Through bodily fluids, sexual contact, and respiratory secretions, the monkeypox virus travels between individuals. interacting with recently contaminated objects, like sick people's or animals' bedding, clothing, and other stuff.

What are the symptoms?

It could take days or even weeks after exposure before you experience symptoms. Early indications of monkeypox include symptoms similar to the flu, such as:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Pain in muscles
  • Lethargy
  • Lymph nodes with swelling


How did chickenpox originate?

The varicella-zoster virus, sometimes known as the chickenpox virus, has existed much longer than humans have. It is likely that the original chickenpox viruses appeared 70 million years ago. The herpes virus family, which includes the virus that causes chickenpox, dates back roughly 500 million years.

What causes chickenpox?

The varicella-zoster virus (VZV), a member of the herpesvirus family, is what causes varicella (chickenpox), an acute and extremely contagious illness. Humans are the only known reservoir for the one type of VZV. Following infection, the virus stays dormant in the brain ganglia and, in 10–20% of cases, it reactivates to cause shingles, usually in people over 50 or those with impaired immune systems.

How does one contract it?

Being in contact with someone with chickenpox. Receiving airborne infection from a sick individual who may be sneezing or coughing. May also be through obtaining bodily fluids from an infected child's mouth, nose, or eyes.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of chickenpox are noticeable. Doctors can often tell if someone has chickenpox by looking at their skin. The following symptoms of chickenpox typically appear in that order:

  • Fever
  • Feeling lethargic
  • Headache
  • Continuous stomach ache for 1 or more days
  • Irritating and constant skin rash that may appear as several tiny blisters
  • Bumps containing what appears to be whitish translucent water
  • Scabs appearing after blisters rupture
  • Skin that seems patchy
  • Spots that vanish eventually

What is the difference between monkeypox and chickenpox?

As briefly discussed above, monkeypox and chickenpox are both viral diseases. Although they differ in spread and causes, they may have similar symptoms. Here are some simple indicators to help you differentiate between the two:

1. Timing of symptoms

Although fever associated with chickenpox may develop 1-2 days prior to rash, which is another frequent symptom of both chickenpox and monkeypox, monkeypox fever may appear 1-5 days prior to rash.

2. Nodes

Lymph nodes afflicted by monkeypox swell, whereas chickenpox lymph nodes do not. This may be one of the easiest ways to identify between monkeypox and chickenpox.

3. Incubation period

Monkeypox takes between five and twenty-one days to incubate, whereas chickenpox takes between four and seven days.

4. Preventing measures

In the case of monkeypox, contact with the sick person, animal, or any item, such as the infected person's belongings, must be avoided. However, in the case of chicken pox, vaccination is required to prevent infection.

5. Contraction

The monkeypox virus enters the body through the respiratory tract, mucus, and broken skin. While chickenpox can only spread through respiratory excretion.

6. Medical treatment

There is no specific treatment for monkeypox. However, the affected person's contacts may receive the smallpox vaccine. Treatment for the symptoms of chickenpox is offered, however, the vaccine is both safe and effective.

These indicators can help you better identify both diseases. We encourage you to always follow preventive measures to help protect you against these contagious diseases.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.