Facts before anything.
Before we all go back into panic mode — this time because of a Monkeypox outbreak that moved from the African region into Europe and the United States— let’s take a look at the latest information about this rare viral disease.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Monkeypox does not spread easily between people.
- Human-to-human transmission occurs in three ways: close contact with infectious material from skin lesions of an infected person, respiratory droplets in prolonged face-to-face contact, and fomites (clothes or other objects). Animal-to-human transmission is also possible; potential human-to-animal transmission may occur.
- Men having sex with men represent, in the present outbreak, the most diagnosed cases in the EU.
- ECDC’s epidemiological assessment concluded that the risk of infection for people who have multiple sexual partners is high for the EU area, and moderate overall.
- Most of the time, the symptoms of the disease are moderate.
- Groups at risk of developing severe symptoms: Young children, pregnant women, and immunosuppressed persons.
- Smallpox vaccine may be administered to close contacts of the infected person, post-exposure.
As you can see, there are clear differences between monkeypox and COVID-19.
At this point in time, I would consider the level of concern and the associated social risk low.
Fearmongering never helped anyone, so let’s get our information from reliable sources first, and freak out later if the case.
Right now, it looks like we’re far from going anywhere near the alert levels and protective measures that we’ve seen at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I think we should keep an eye on updated data, and change our reactions only in accordance with the facts they confirm.
This article was originally published on Medium on May 24, 2022.