Monkeypox outbreak:  ‘increased transmissibility’?

The following is an excerpt from MedPage Today.

Researchers are keeping a close eye on what appears to be a rapidly developing global outbreak of monkeypox virus.

This isn’t like previous encounters with the virus. The widespread nature of the outbreak and evidence of frequent human-to-human transmission has researchers questioning whether the virus has changed to become more transmissible.

While it will take some time before that can be known for sure, here’s what science does know about monkeypox virus.

The monkeypox virus is a member of the family Poxviridae and the genus Orthopoxvirus, which includes variola (the virus that causes smallpox), vaccinia (which is used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus.

As of Friday, May 20, cases have been confirmed or are under investigation in the U.S. (Massachusetts and New York), U.K., Spain, Portugal, France, Canada, Sweden, and Italy.

The fact that not all the individuals infected traveled to West or Central Africa, where the disease is more common and mainly jumps to people though contact with animals, suggests that the virus may be spreading under the radar.

While this has given epidemiologists pause, there’s no proof yet that the virus has changed to become more transmissible.

Much of the transmission so far has occurred among men who have sex with men, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s limited to that community.

Generally, monkeypox is not easily spread between humans. According to the CDC, human-to-human transmission is thought to primarily occur through large respiratory droplets.

Other means of transmission include direct contact with body fluids or lesions, and indirect contact with lesion material through contaminated clothing or bedding, also known as fomites.

Among the first symptoms to appear are flu-like symptoms, including fever, aches, and fatigue. Monkeypox infection also involves swelling of the lymph nodes.

Then, typically 1 to 3 days later — though sometimes longer — a rash develops, according to the CDC. It often starts on the face before spreading to other parts of the body.

Illness typically lasts about 2 to 4 weeks.

According to the CDC, there’s no proven treatment for monkeypox specifically, but the smallpox vaccine, antivirals, and vaccinia immune globulin can be used. (Continued)

Read more here.

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7 thoughts on “Monkeypox outbreak:  ‘increased transmissibility’?”

  1. Belgium has already instituted a lockdown over this. We don’t have any solid evidence of increased transmissibility, nor do we have any evidence at all that this is transmitted via respiration and highly contagious like Covid. So it seems that panic is already being stoked, again based only on increased numbers of cases without any scientific or medical evidence that any pandemic measures are warranted or even helpful.

    Add to this the fact that a simulation exercise was conducted just one year ago that examined world government health measures to be taken in the event of a monkeypox outbreak in May of 2022, and suspicion of government motives may be warranted. Sadly it is hard to imagine a more effective way to continue undermining any remaining confidence in government health organizations.

    Keep calm, don’t panic and demand evidence to support any government actions such as lockdowns, forced masking, or forced vaccinations for this.

    1. Sorry, what Belgium has instituted is mandatory quarantine for those with monkeypox symptoms. This is different from a universal lockdown, apologies for the error.

      Vigilance is still needed to determine what is factual about monkeypox to prevent unnecessary government actions.

      1. There were large rave parties in Belgium and Spain that have been linked to the spread among mostly gay men. Color me shocked that random sexual encounters with strangers could possibly spread an infection or three.

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