What really puts you at risk of getting monkeypox?


Is monkeypox a diversion from the ongoing stresses of COVID or is it real? The answer is both.

Unfortunately, the media lens is very wide at the moment, which means we hear about an emerging infectious disease and quickly move to the worst-case scenario. But unlike COVID-19, monkeypox is neither new nor widespread. It is also not a single-stranded RNA virus, which makes it less susceptible to rapid mutations such as influenza or SARS-CoV-2.

This particular strain of monkeypox captures the effects of negative media imagination of the outbreak in Nigeria in 2017-2018. It is less virulent or fatal than another type of monkeypox, which is itself less virulent or fatal than smallpox. However, smallpox is what we think of when we talk about monkeypox, it is smallpox that we have stockpiled hundreds of millions of doses of smallpox vaccine that Killed more than 300 million People all over the world in the 20th century alone before a powerful vaccine wiped it out in 1977. Monkeypox is a poor cousin by contrast, although you can still get very sick with fever, fatigue, body aches, and swollen lymph node , followed by pustular characteristic. hasty.

But traditional live smallpox vaccines for smallpox virus are readily available — in fact, a Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson told me that we have enough vaccine for all Americans. But in reality, the reaction would be greatly exaggerated at this point, just Sporadic cases and limited outbreaks In Europe, the United States and the United Kingdom, many are still associated with travel or tracing Two big babbling Between gay and bisexual men in Spain and Belgium. It appears that monkeypox can be spread through sexual contact as well as by close contact with excretions.

It’s hardly another COVID virus, and it shouldn’t be thought of in the same way, as COVID, by contrast, approaches the easily transmissible airborne measles, with each variant being 30 percent more transmissible than the previous one.

By contrast, for all the attention it receives, monkeypox still gets it Total 257 cases In 23 countries around the world and in only a small number of cases here in the United States

Don’t get me wrong, the real case number is clearly higher when you consider community spread with milder cases that might be mistakenly thought of as influenza or some other virus, but nonetheless, this is not, and it likely won’t be another pandemic at all. Since the main source of its spread is among symptomatic patients, it is much easier to follow a standard effective public health protocol than for COVID. They are to identify, isolate, treat (there is Effective antivirals TPOXX and TEMBEXA, as well as potentially cidofovir) and circular vaccination for all close contacts.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is monitoring the situation closely here in the United States, and there is a growing abundance of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for monkeypox. This is critical because if we don’t know who owns it, we won’t be able to contain and control it.

Back in early 2020, when I traveled to Dulles Airport and the University of Nebraska Medical Center where the first COVID patients in the United States were isolated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, I was among the first to warn that SARS-CoV-2 was dangerous. The virus is already spreading widely throughout our communities and we have had no vaccine or treatment for it. What followed defied even the harshest predictions. But there is no reason to apply a model of what went and what went wrong in trying to contain COVID to all emerging infectious diseases.

Monkeypox is a problem, but it is not a COVID disease, and it can be managed by applying the tried and true science and public health we have at our disposal. Hysteria amplifies the problem and does not help anyone.

Mark Siegel, MD, is professor of medicine and medical director of Radio Doctor at NYU Langone Health. He is a Fox News medical reporter and author of the new book “COVID: The Politics of Fear and the Power of Science.”