President Biden was asked about monkeypox before he boarded AF1 from South Korea ✈️ to Japan. pic.twitter.com/WuaaO5JGg0
— Asma Khalid (@asmamk) May 22, 2022
"No, I don't think so," Biden says at press conference in Tokyo when asked if monkey pox may cause a pandemic like coronavirus. "I just don't think it rises to a level of kind of concern that existed with Covid 19."
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) May 23, 2022
EVERYBODY CALM DOWN (for the moment). The status quo hasn’t, as far as I can tell, changed much since my last post: Monkeypox is a known viral infection, for which we have a workable (smallpox) vaccine, that has now been diagnosed in approximately a hundred persons (almost entirely — so far — men who have sex with men) in countries (Europe, America, Canada, Israel, Australia) where it’s a novelty, at a time when doctors are a little gun-shy about ‘novel’ diseases. Here’s the best short summary I’ve seen so far:
Sexual transmission among gay and bisexual men at two raves in Europe likely caused the unprecedented outbreak of monkeypox in developed countries, a leading adviser to the World Health Organization says. https://t.co/yFQRN1CTMO
— AP Europe (@AP_Europe) May 23, 2022
… In an interview with The Associated Press, Dr. David Heymann, who formerly headed WHO’s emergencies department, said the leading theory to explain the spread of the disease was sexual transmission among gay and bisexual men at two raves held in Spain and Belgium. Monkeypox has not previously triggered widespread outbreaks beyond Africa, where it is endemic in animals.
“We know monkeypox can spread when there is close contact with the lesions of someone who is infected, and it looks like sexual contact has now amplified that transmission,” said Heymann…
To date, WHO has recorded more than 90 cases of monkeypox in a dozen countries including Britain, Spain, Israel, France, Switzerland, the U.S. and Australia.
Madrid’s senior health official said on Monday that the Spanish capital has recorded 30 confirmed cases so far. Enrique Ruiz Escudero said authorities are investigating possible links between a recent Gay Pride event in the Canary Islands, which drew some 80,000 people, and cases at a Madrid sauna.
Heymann chaired an urgent meeting of WHO’s advisory group on infectious disease threats on Friday to assess the ongoing epidemic and said there was no evidence to suggest that monkeypox might have mutated into a more infectious form…
WHO said confirmed cases have so far been the less severe West African group of monkeypox viruses and appeared to be linked to a virus that was first detected in exported cases from Nigeria to Britain, Israel and Singapore in 2018-2019.
The U.N. agency said the outbreak is “a highly unusual event” and said the fact that cases are being seen in so many different countries suggests the disease may have been silently spreading for some time. The agency’s Europe director warned that as summer begins across the continent, mass gatherings, festivals and parties could accelerate the spread of monkeypox…
Heymann, who is also a professor of infectious diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the monkeypox outbreak was likely a random event that might be traceable to a single infection.
“It’s very possible there was somebody who got infected, developed lesions on the genitals, hands or somewhere else, and then spread it to others when there was sexual or close, physical contact,” Heymann hypothesized. “And then there were these international events that seeded the outbreak around the world, into the U.S. and other European countries.”
He emphasized that the disease was unlikely to trigger widespread transmission.
“This is not COVID,” he said. “We need to slow it down, but it does not spread in the air and we have vaccines to protect against it.” Heymann said studies should be conducted rapidly to determine if monkeypox could be spread by people without symptoms and that populations at risk of the disease should take precautions to protect themselves.
Per the BBC:
Anyone at the highest risk of having caught #monkeypox should isolate for 21 days, official guidance says. The advice, from the #UK Health Security Agency (@UKHSA), applies to anyone who has had direct or household contact with a confirmed case. BBC News https://t.co/Y684XgMqG0
— P&S Chemist (@pschemist) May 23, 2022
My team’s initial rapid assessment of the transmissibility potential associated with the ongoing monkeypox outbreak is now preprinted at https://t.co/GSNf84edl6]. We estimate the basic reproduction number to range from 1.15 to 1.26. This is good news, albeit provisional. THREAD: pic.twitter.com/i95WRTD87x
— Dr. Maia is on semi-hiatus ☀️ (@maiamajumder) May 23, 2022
We’re in a great position for mitigation right now, but the outbreak may accelerate without sufficient action. Contact tracing, vaccination of contacts with the smallpox vaccine (which is also protective against MPXV), & isolation of positive cases will be key in this moment.
— Dr. Maia is on semi-hiatus ☀️ (@maiamajumder) May 23, 2022
What worries me, right now, is the potential for all the worst people to make things uglier by stigmatizing a minority, fundraising on others’ problems while ginning up paranoia among their deluded followers:
— Prof Peter Hotez MD PhD (@PeterHotez) May 22, 2022
Why is this messaging from Brownstone so harmful?
"Stigma directed at a particular group of individuals fuels fear & seriously impedes upon outbreak investigation, case identification & public health interventions," say @Boghuma @klts0 @Neurofourier https://t.co/1hChKo3Sqo pic.twitter.com/dAAooIs0o2
— Prof. Gavin Yamey MD MPH (@GYamey) May 22, 2022
Here we go: Seamless integration of monkeypox into lab leak conspiracy fantasies to create a chimera of profound stupidity.
I read this ghastly article so you don’t have to. This is what happens when one is completely ignorant of basic biology & wholly uninterested in the truth. pic.twitter.com/9RkWamStna
— Dr. Angela Rasmussen (@angie_rasmussen) May 22, 2022
For the truly worried, or obsessed:
Fantastically detailed tracker. See the spreadsheet. https://t.co/s7uhtK6bP7
— Jon Cohen (@sciencecohen) May 21, 2022