What We Know About Monkeypox Right Now

0
383
Pavlova Yuliia / shutterstock.com

We just got COVID under control. And now, we’re hearing about monkeypox. Governments across the globe have been buying up vaccines. And some countries are even mandating the vaccines.

So, what is monkeypox? Is it something we have to be concerned about yet?

Monkeypox is a viral disease that has been around for decades. Typically, it affects rodents and primates within west and central Africa. In rare instances, it is transmitted to humans.

When humans get monkeypox, it results in a rash that is similar to smallpox. The pimple-like blisters can form all over the body. In addition to the rash, other symptoms include fever and headache, exhaustion, and muscle aches.

For the average person, the infection lasts for 7 to 14 days. Then, everything clears up and a person is healthy again. In rare instances, a person can die from monkeypox. Generally, the fatality rate is around three percent.

Prior to 2022, most would say that it would be extremely rare to become infected by monkeypox, especially if you aren’t traveling to the rainforests of West Africa.

Cases have been surging, however. It started with a case in the United Kingdom. Now, there are over 45 cases in the United States.

A representative for the White House global health and security, Raj Panjabi, explains “We have tests for monkeypox. We have vaccines for monkeypox, and we have treatments for monkeypox.”

At this point, we’re better equipped for this virus than we were for COVID. It helps to put us ahead of the curve in case we do see more outbreaks.

Over 70 people in the world have died from monkeypox in the past several months, and that’s leaving many people to be on edge about the potential for another pandemic.

This isn’t like COVID, though. With COVID, it’s nearly impossible to know if a person is infected. A person could have the flu instead of COVID. The most prevalent way to transmit monkeypox is by close contact with an infected person and their bodily fluids. You would notice the blisters and lesions on their body – and, therefore, know to keep your distance.

Most people in the U.S. have received a smallpox vaccine. It’s something that is given to you when you’re young – and you can confirm this with your doctor. The CDC and the WHO have estimated that the smallpox vaccines are approximately 85% effective against monkeypox.

Now, not everyone has been vaccinated. Smallpox was virtually eliminated, so the general public stopped getting the vaccine. You may have only gotten it if you have traveled to various parts of the world – or if you are over a certain age.

So, you can choose to get the vaccine as a secondary level of protection.

At this moment, a vaccine isn’t a requirement. The government doesn’t have mass doses of the vaccine as they did with COVID.

The only way to get infected is if you come into physical contact with someone who has been infected. If you don’t know anyone who has been infected, you’re likely safe.

The WHO is meeting to determine if there are enough cases to declare a global health emergency. Considering that most people recover if infected, and the symptoms are milder than with smallpox, it is not at the level of COVID.

While the Democrats may be looking to make a bigger deal out of monkeypox than necessary, you really have little to worry about.