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What We Know About Monkeypox

Stories are now beginning regarding the spread of Monkeypox. There have been reported cases popping up all over Europe and some now hitting the United States. So far there is only one country that started a quarantine, but so far there has not been too much panic from the experts.

What We Currently Know

Monkeypox is in the smallpox family and is an infection caused by a virus. Monkeypox is milder than smallpox. According to the CDC, the symptoms include fever, headache, muscle ache, swollen lymph nodes, and in the first few days after fever, a rash and lesions will appear. It typically lasts 7-14 days. It is typically found in Africa in humans and animals. So it is still under investigation how it is getting spread outside of Africa. What is known so far is that there have been two strains detected one with a 1% death rate in rural Africa and another with a 10% death rate located in central Africa.

Belgium is the only country that has begun a mandated quarantine that is 21 days long. The protocol was put into place on May 23rd due to three cases being reported. The current spread of Monkeypox began in Europe due to two raves that were in Spain and Belgium. With June right around the corner and its crowning of Pride Month since 1999, there is a push to raise awareness about the virus since it is currently a risk among sexually active gay men based on information from the WHO. Even though it is spreading amongst bi and gay men it typically spread through close contact.

It seems that the experts, including the WHO, and President Biden are not panicked about it. Biden compared it to COVID-19 saying that in comparisons this is not as concerning. There are two vaccines and two antiviral treatments already in the United States so this could be the reason for the non-concern, but there is a slight push for people who have been exposed to receive the vaccine for post-exposure care. Current cases in the United States total at 10 (as of May 26th), 101 in England, 3 in Scotland, 1 in Wales, and 1 in Northern Ireland, and that brings 106 total cases in UK (as of May 27). Different sources have said there have been close to 400 cases totaling so far.

It is starting to feel like déjà vu. Do you believe the experts when they say not to panic or do you think in the next few months another round of lockdowns, quarantine, and push for vaccines will take place?

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