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The threat of monkeypox and what we learned from the COVID-19 pandemic - India Blogger

An electron microscopic (EM) image shows a monkeypox virion. (Image courtesy of the CDC Public Health Image Library.)

The world is not in line with the SARS-CoV-2 virus pandemic, and now another pathogen has public health officials on high alert: the monkeypox virus.

Monkeypox is a rare viral disease rarely found outside West and Central Africa, where the disease is endemic. Recently, it has emerged globally in places where it is not endemic and affected populations. which are not usually It is vulnerable to the virus, which causes rash, skin rash, fever and body aches.

As of May 21, the World Health Organization reported 92 laboratory-confirmed cases and 28 suspected cases in 12 countries, including the United States, where the disease is not endemic. On May 23, the CDC said there had been one laboratory-confirmed case in Massachusetts and four suspected cases in three US states – Florida, New York and Utah. Most of those infected are men, but in the past cases of monkeypox have been found mostly in children.

Monkeypox appearing in places where it is not endemic and affecting an isolated population is a matter of concern to public health officials. Preliminary sequencing of monkeypox cases suggests that the strain is similar to the virus endemic in West Africa – raising questions about how it spreads – many of those who have become ill have never traveled to Africa.

“The emergence of the virus in isolated populations around the world, where it does not usually appear, has alarmed scientists – and sent them rushing for answers,” he wrote. Max Kozlov May 20 in Nature article. much of what scientists know Based on about 1,500 cases of monkeypox as of 2018.

Over the weekend, President Biden said monkeypox is “something that everyone should be concerned about” and “will be consequential” if it spreads. He also said that it is not as worrying as COVID-19, which is on the rise again. The US has a stockpile of antivirals and a vaccine that is likely to be effective against monkeypox, which has a mortality rate of 1 to 10%, but scientists say the death rate is tied to cases in poor, rural areas of Africa.

UCLA epidemiologist Anne Rimoin, Ph.D., MPH. Told Ed Yong for The Atlantic.

The New York Times and The Washington Post posted helpful Q&A about the disease. Al Tompkins of the Poynter Institute has a useful post for journalists looking for resources on monkeypox.

Monkeypox does not spread easily [public health officials say most of the current cases have been traced to sexual or personal contact]But scientists worry that the virus may mutate, and if it does, it could have pandemic potential. That’s why journalists should read Yong’s Atlantic Story Asked if Monkeypox can test whether the world has learned anything from COVID.

Recognizing that a post-pandemic scenario was possible, the AHCJ hosted four experts for the “Public Health and the Next Pandemic: Still Not Ready” session at Health Journalism 2022 earlier this month.

During that panel, John Halrstedt, MD, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, had some potentially comforting words for the audience. One of the reasons why the COVID-19 pandemic caused so many infections, hospitalizations and deaths around the world is that it was a new virus.

“There was no human population that had any level of pre-existing immunity,” he explained. “And so, it exploded all over the world. Even Influenza isn’t like that.”

He said that unlike monkeypox, in March 2020, there was no vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID, and no medicine to treat infected patients.

Still, it is not clear whether the US has learned much in recent times. Ali S Khan, MD, MPH, MBA, dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska and a professor of epidemiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, is disappointed that there was and continues to be a lack of legitimate public health policy debate about COVID-19.

“Instead, we decided to attack science and scientists,” he said. He said Americans should have had a stronger discussion about how many elderly and people of color would need to die to keep the economy and schools and workplaces open.

“It’s a valid debate,” he acknowledged. “I’m framing this a little bit frankly, but it’s a debate, isn’t it?”

He explained that many Americans simply refuse to wear masks or practice social distancing because of the lack of such discussions. Still, masks and social distancing are effective in preventing the virus from spreading, he said.

Even more worrying is the lack of public health workers and infrastructure. Although Congress has earmarked billions of dollars to boost the public health response to the pandemic, most state and local health departments are still struggling, raising questions about whether they can handle a more dangerous pathogen. If it becomes a pandemic threat.

lauren weberThe Midwest correspondent for Kaiser Health News (KHN) found that health care providers were fighting the pandemic with data from fax machines. “It’s a really important fact when you think about how our public health response came to be,” she said.

An investigation by KHN and the Associated Press called “Underfunded and Under Threat” examined how US public health agencies were under-understood and unprepared during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We entered the pandemic with a state public health workforce that lost 16% of its workforce, and a local public health workforce that lost 18% of its funding,” she said. “That was the beleaguered local state army that we sent to fight this pandemic.”

expert to call

  • Jay Hooper, PhD, chief of molecular biology at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Contact Kerry Vander Linden via: [email protected], (301) 619-2285
  • Thomas Inglesby, MD, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Contact Margaret Miller via: [email protected] Twitter: @T_Inglesby
  • Jennifer McQuiston, DVM, MS, deputy director of the CDC’s Division of High Outcomes Pathogens and Pathology. Contact her via CDC Media Relations at: (404) 639-3286
  • Michael Osterholm, Ph.D., MPH, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. Contact Laurel O’Neill via: [email protected]
  • Gustavo Palacios, Ph.D., professor of microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @guspalpogeng
  • Anne Rimoin, PhD, MPH, professor of epidemiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, email: [email protected], phone (310) 825-2096. Twitter: @arimoin
  • Boghuma Kabisen Titanji, MD, Ph.D. MSc, DTM&H, fourth year fellow and clinical researcher at Emory University School of Medicine. Contact her via Nikki B. Troxclair: [email protected], (912) 313-2256, Twitter: @boghuma
  • Robert Siegel, MD, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University, [email protected]

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