Can Monkeypox Cause Covid-like Pandemic? Top US Doctor Lists 5 Reasons Why Not to Worry

Amid growing fears of monkeypox outbreaks around the world, a top US doctor has taken to Twitter to share a list of five reasons why an outbreak could turn into a Covid-zero-like pandemic. “Monkeypox cases are concerning but the risk of it turning into a pandemic like COVID is 0%,” Dr. Fahim Younes, chief quality officer and chief of infectious diseases at the University of Maryland, said Monday.

In his list of reasons explaining what distinguishes monkeypox virus from Covid-19, he states that the virus is not new, unlike SARS-CoV-2, is not fatal, and is less contagious than Covid, has been around for five decades and was prevented by the smallpox vaccine.

Smallpox vaccines are 85 percent effective at preventing monkeypox infection, and several countries have said they are beginning to stockpile them.

First found in monkeys, the disease does not tend to spread easily between humans but can be transmitted through close physical contact, including sexual contact. It is a rare viral infection that is more common in remote parts of central and western Africa and there are now 20 cases reported in the UK, with more than 80 across Europe, the US, Canada, Israel and Australia.

According to an advisory from the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Department of Health and Family Welfare on monkeypox, it mainly occurs in tropical rainforest regions of Central and West Africa and is sometimes exported to other regions. Usually, it presents clinically with fever, rash, and enlarged lymph nodes and may lead to a range of medical complications. Monkeypox is usually a self-limiting disease with symptoms lasting two to four weeks. The center’s note said serious cases could occur.

On Monday, the World Health Organization said it had no evidence that the monkeypox virus had mutated. But Rosamund Lewis, head of the Smallpox Secretariat which is part of the WHO’s emergency programme, noted that infectious diseases that were once endemic to West and Central Africa tended not to change.

More than 100 suspected and confirmed cases of recent outbreaks in Europe and North America have not been severe, said Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO head of emerging and zoonotic diseases and technical lead for Covid-19. Many — but not all — of the people diagnosed in the current monkeypox outbreak were men who have sex with men (MSM). “We know that MSM if they discover an unusual rash, they are likely to want to resolve it very quickly,” said Andy Seal, a strategy advisor in the WHO’s Division of HIV, Hepatitis and STD Programs.

(with input from agencies)

Read all the latest news, breaking news and live updates for IPL 2022 here.

Leave a Comment