Monkeypox is a viral disease, distantly related to its far more deadly cousin, smallpox. So far this year, it has been discovered in dozens of countries that are generally not familiar with monkeypox, with about 113 cases in the U.S., 15 of them in Illinois.

First documented in people in Africa in 1970, monkeypox has probably been circulating in central and west Africa for decades. It gained its name because it was originally discovered in monkeys.

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