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Tanapox virus was first isolated from the cases of febrile illness that occurred along the Tana river in Kenya during 1950s. The virus produces single, pock-like vesicular lesion on the skin, which usually do not progress to form pustules. This lesion is most commonly seen on the upper part of the body. The virus is acquired by insect bite from monkeys and other wild animal reservoirs. It is antigenically not related to other poxviruses. The virus grows in human and monkey tissue culture but does not grow in embryonated egg.
Yabapox virus produces large benign tumors in monkeys. It causes benign histiocytomas 5–20 days after muscular or sub-cutaneous inoculation to monkeys. Such lesions have been reported in persons handling affected monkeys.
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