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Vet who caught monkeypox in 2003 says new outbreak is a 'wake-up call for the world'

A veterinarian who contracted monkeypox in the worst outbreak of monkeypox in the United States nearly 20 years ago said that new cases are a wake up call for the rest of the world.

Kurt Zaeske, a veterinarian who cared for prairie dogs at a breeding farm, contracted the virus in 2003.

After suffering from nausea, dizziness and fever, he was admitted to hospital.

He feared that he might lose his thumb because of a painful lesion.


The new outbreak of monkeypox has spread around the globe, with 19 countries reporting cases. There are also around 82 cases in the UK.

Dr Zaeske also believes that action must be taken immediately.

Sky News: He said that he believes this is a wake up call for the rest the world, as it is so cosmopolitan and there is so much mobility.

Learn more about Monkeypox

“We are probably only three to four degrees away from exotic animal diseases.”

“We need to be more vigilant in looking for these things and I believe we might need to consider vaccination.”

Dr Zaeske stated that people who had had a smallpox vaccination suffered less from the 2003 outbreak.

Continue reading: How can you get rid of monkeypox?

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Monkeypox: Your questions answered

Experts believe that the West African endemic smallpox epidemic is spreading due to the fact that many people below the age 50 have not been protected by smallpox vaccines.

Dr Zaeske believes that countries should stock up on smallpox vaccinations as a precaution.

The former vet claimed that he was fully healed after two weeks of treatment with antibiotics.

He still has the scar from his thumb, where the lesion was treated.


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