Viral Alaskapox Virus: Symptoms, Transmission and Prevention

Alaskapox Virus was first identified in a resident of Fairbanks, Alaska in 2015. Seven cases are reported to date. The death of an immunocompromised man from the Kenai Peninsula in late January raised health safety concerns.

Alaskapox Virus

Alaskapox Virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus, the same variola virus that causes smallpox, monkeypox, and cowpox. They cause skin lesions when they infect mammals. It is prevalent in tiny animals like shrews and voles.


Symptoms of the Alaskapox virus include one or more skin lesions, swollen lymph nodes, and joint or muscle pain. Immunocompromised humans may encounter severe symptoms.


Alaskapox virus infects humans when they come in direct contact with the infected animals or their droppings. Still, there are no finds of human-to-human transmission.


There is no specific treatment for the Alaskapox virus yet. The management is providing supportive care to alleviate it. Visit the hospital if you face any of the mentioned symptoms.


“As per the State of Alaska’s website, people with skin lesions must cover the affected area with a bandage.” Avoid contact with wild animals, and practice good hygiene like washing hands after spending time outdoors.

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