Coronavirus Watch Health & Wellness

Monkeypox is a Global Threat

In the prestigious Science magazine, staff write John Cohen writes that Monkeypox is a new global threat and this neglected disease of the poor countries after it started getting infected in wealthy countries.

The “monkeypox” virus reportedly got its name after the virus was ‘first identified in a colony of Asian monkeys in a Copenhagen, Denmark, laboratory in 1958, but it has only been isolated from a wild monkey—in Africa—once’.

It’s as if your neighbor’s house is burning and you just close your window and say it’s fine. […] We are interdependent. What is happening in Africa will definitely impact what is happening in the West and vice versa.

– Yap Boum, an epidemiologist in Cameroon who works with both the health ministry and Doctors Without Borders (source: Science)

According to the Science, monkeypox is already endemic in 10 countries in West and Central Africa, with dozens of cases this year in Cameroon, Nigeria, and the Central African Republic (CAR).

The current strain of monkeypox that is currently spreading outside Africa, reportedly involved the West African strain, which kills about 1% of those it infects, writes the Science.

Epidemiologist Ifedayo Adetifa, head of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, told the Science “There’s too much emphasis for whatever reasons in Western capitals and news media about trying to hold somebody responsible for a particular outbreak. We don’t think those narratives are helpful. Although Nigeria has recently seen ‘an uptick in cases’, he is confident it’s not missing a large number of them. We are literally rattling the bushes to see what comes out.”

In a recent statement the World Health Organization (WHO) said that ‘ongoing monkeypox outbreak currently poses a moderate risk to global public health’.

Currently, the overall public health risk at [a] global level is assessed as moderate considering this is the first time that monkeypox cases and clusters are reported concurrently in widely disparate WHO geographical areas.

– The WHO in a statement

The WHO said “the risk at present to individuals in the general public appears to be low, but it may not stay that way; ‘immediate action from countries is required to control further spread among groups at risk, prevent spread to the general population and avert the establishment of monkeypox as a clinical condition and public health problem in currently non-endemic countries’.”

Coronavirus-19 vaccination watch

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID vaccination tracker page (as of June 3) 749,982,055 doses have been distributed and 588,473,704 doses administered. According MDH COVID-19 Response vaccine data a total of 10,064,844 doses of Covid-19 (Pfizer & Moderna) vaccines have been administered in Minnesota. According to the MDH latest tally (as of June 3) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 1,515,724 with 12,664 deaths.