Difference between Monkeypox and Chickenpox | Explained


For the past two years, when the entire world faced a rapidly growing virus called Coronavirus. When the world looked for steps to cope and was coming to terms with, a new virus got reported recently which is spreading at a rapid rate. 

Difference between Monkeypox and Chicken pox | Explained
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Monkeypox is a new disease whose cases have been discovered recently, and are caused by the monkeypox virus. This virus comes from the same virus family as that smallpox and can be baffled to chickenpox. Both of these viruses show common symptoms like body aches, colds, fever, rash, etc, netizens are more likely to be confused.

Hence here, we will be elucidating in detail the difference between these viruses:


Origins: Though this is less severe than that smallpox, it is a viral zoonosis(a disease that spreads from animals to humans). Having similar symptoms to that of smallpox, however, smallpox got eradicated in 1980 and hence its vaccinations were ultimately halted. 

Recently discovered Monkeypox has its origins in Central Africa and West Africa and has been spreading worldwide rapidly. It is frequent in areas close to tropical rainforests. Hosts of this virus include rodent species and non-human primates for animals.

Causes: IT is discovered in animal species which include Gambian pouched rats, rope, dormice, and non-human primates. There’s an uneasiness about this virus’s natural history and research is required to apprehend its spread in animals.

Transmission: The disease spreads through direct contact with an infected animal, person, or adulterated materials. Sources of transmission are boldly fluids, respiratory secretions, or sexual contact and hence these are considered ‘contagious’ diseases. Other objects leading to its transmission also include animals bleeding or sick people, clothing, and other stuff.

Symptoms: This disease’s symptoms appear after days or even weeks after exposure to this disease. Symptoms thereafter include Fever, Exhaustion, muscle aches and backache, chills, and respiratory symptoms(sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough). 

The sick person can have a few or all symptoms. These symptoms last for 2-4 weeks after they transpire.


Originates: The varicella-zoster virus, sometimes known as the chickenpox virus, is said to have existed much before even when humans do not. While the herpes virus family which includes the virus that causes chickenpox dates back to 500 years ago, the original virus is said to have appeared 70 million years ago.

Causes: It is a communicable disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) and is highly contagious. Once infected the virus stays in the brain ganglia and in 10-20% of cases it reactivates to cause shingles.

Most people get this virus in childhood if they haven’t been injected with the Chickenpox vaccine. A person who has not been injected with the vaccine can get this disease at any age.

Transmission: It spreads by being in contact with another person suffering from chickenpox. Can be infected with an airborne infection from an infected person who would be sneezing or coughing or through their bodily fluids.

Symptoms: Doctors tell if someone is suffering from this virus by looking at their skin. The various symptoms include Headache, fever, continuous stomach ache, skin that turns patchy, bumps containing what appears to be whitish translucent water, etc. 

Read More: Kerala reports the case of monkeypox again

The Difference between Monkeypox and Chickenpox

Both of these viruses have many common symptoms. The various symptoms which can help to distinguish between them are: 

  1. Arrival time of Symptoms 

Fever is one of the common symptoms of both of them. However, fever in Monkeypox appears 1-5 days prior to the rash while in the case of Chickenpox it develops after 1-2 days prior to the rash.

  1. Nodes

Lymph nodes affected by monkeypox swell, whereas chickenpox lymph nodes do not. The identification through nodes is considered one of the easiest ways of distinguishing.

  1. Incubation period

For incubation, between five and twenty-one days are taken for monkeypox to incubate, whereas chickenpox takes between four and seven days.

  1. Preventive measures

For the prevention of Monkeypox, avoiding contact with an infected person can only be the way to stop transmission or be protected. However, in the case of chickenpox, we have vaccinations that can stop its spread and occurrence.

A person must get injected with the chickenpox vaccine in his childhood to stop any cases of it in the future.

  1. Virus Transmission 

The monkeypox-causing virus penetrates the body through the respiratory tract, mucus, and broken skin. While chickenpox, the virus can only enter through respiratory excretion.

  1. Medical treatment to cure these diseases  and Chicken pox 

Since monkeypox is a recently discovered disease its proper treatment has not been found as of yet. In the case of Chickenpox, on the other hand, vaccines have been discovered that can stop its spread even before the disease spreads to an individual.


Aditi Raj
Aditi Raj
She is a girl with a keen interest in journalism. Last year, she completed her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism (Hons) from Kalindi College, University of Delhi. Hence, she has procured a deep knowledge of this field. Besides this, she has also learned skills in photography, filmmaking and audio and video production. Aditi is presently preparing for her master's along with interning with Asiana Times. Also an NCC Cadet in her college she was also part of a prestigious national camp like Republic Day Camp.


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