Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Home / Alaskapox — detect new viruses with altona

Alaskapox — detect new viruses with altona

Alaskapox virus (AKPV) is a new Orthopoxvirus species that caused the first case of severe Alaskapox infection with hospitalization and death in Alaska at the end of January 2024. The man’s death is a reminder of the importance of early detection of potential cases to better understand the spread of the disease and its potential severity.


altona Diagnostics offers a wide range of ready-to-use test kits based on real-time PCR technology for the detection of emerging diseases. With the RealStar® Orthopoxvirus PCR Kit 1.0 you can detect Orthopoxvirus species specific DNA, including the Alaskapox virus.

Alaskapox virus was first identified in an adult living near Fairbanks in 2015. Seven infections to date have been reported to the Alaska Section of Epidemiology (SOE). Symptoms common to most of the cases were fever, lymphadenopathy, muscle pain and fatigue. The current fatal occurrence is the first case of Alaskapox detected in a male from the Kenai Peninsula outside of the Fairbanks area, suggesting that AKPV appears to be more geographically widespread in Alaska in small mammals than previously known and warrants increased statewide awareness among clinicians.


It is thought that zoonotic transmission may occur via contact with small wild mammals infected with the Alaskapox virus as the primary host, or via pets (including cats) as an intermediate host. However, the exact origin and route of transmission of Alaskapox is not yet fully understood.


Diagnosis of Alaskapox is challenging due to its resemblance to other viral diseases such as smallpox and chickenpox. Laboratory tests, including polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and genome sequencing, are often required to confirm the presence of the virus. Treatment for Alaskapox is mainly supportive, focusing on relieving symptoms and preventing complications.


Research on Alaskapox is ongoing, with efforts aimed at understanding its epidemiology, transmission dynamics, and potential treatment options. Increased awareness and surveillance are crucial in monitoring and managing outbreaks of this rare viral disease. PCR testing offers a rapid and reliable option for good surveillance.


Find out more about the RealStar® Orthopoxvirus PCR Kit 1.0 RUO.


Fatal Alaskapox Infection in a Southcentral Alaska Resident – State of Alaska Epidemiology Bulletin

Emergence of novel orthopox virus in Alaska, USA