As health departments around the country start to report cases of monkeypox, some are getting flashbacks to early 2020 before the coronavirus spread like wildfire. With greater than 30 cases across 13 states, will the virus begin a brand-new pandemic?
Key differences between the viruses make that not likely. In a media briefing Tuesday, Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, outlined a few of those distinctions.
While monkeypox can spread out via respiratory system droplets, Inglesby explained, evidence suggests spread is taking place through close contact.
“It’s not spreading across a room or greater distance,” Inglesby said. In addition to respiratory system droplets at close range, the virus can likewise be spread out via physical contact, or with contact with somebody’s bed linen or clothes, he said.
Monkeypox does pose a severe risk to individuals that get it. It leads to death for as numerous as 10% of individuals who contract it in Africa, where the virus is native, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, the way it spreads out can make it much easier to manage outbreaks.
“It is not acting in a way like a disease that spreads through respiratory droplets or airborne dominantly does,” Inglesby claimed. “So it’s not acting like influenza or covid or chickenpox or measles – things that spread quickly in an unvaccinated community. It is acting more like a disease that is spreading by close contact.”
We likewise have a vaccine that antagonizes the virus, the smallpox vaccine.
“If we all react quickly and we all work together, we will be able to stop this,” claimed the World Health Organization’s Dr. Rosamund Lewis. “We will be able to stop it before it reaches more vulnerable people and before it establishes itself as a replacement for smallpox.”
“It’s really important to do everything we can to try and control it,” Inglesby agreed, “but we’re not going to see the same kinds of early numbers we did as COVID because it’s spreading in different ways.”