(OPINION) – What in the world is going on? In the past, we were told that monkeypox was not a major concern because it was so difficult to spread it from person to person. But now monkeypox seems to be spreading like wildfire. On May 7th, the very first case in the western world in 2022 was confirmed in the United Kingdom.
Now here we are less than two weeks later and there are now dozens of confirmed and suspected cases in seven different countries outside of Africa. Yesterday, I discussed the cases that have popped up in Spain, Portugal and the United States. Now there are three more nations that are reporting confirmed or suspected cases, and that should greatly alarm all of us.
The confirmed case in Massachusetts involves a man that had recently traveled to Canada, and so it was suspected that there were additional cases among the Canadians. Earlier today, we learned that “thirteen probable cases are being investigated in Canada”, and the test results for those thirteen “probable cases” should be released soon.
Meanwhile, a case has been confirmed all the way up in Sweden… ‘One person in the Stockholm region has been confirmed to be infected with monkeypox,’ Sweden’s Public Health Agency said in a statement. The infected person ‘is not seriously ill, but has been given care,’ according to the agency.
And it appears that there could be multiple cases in Italy… Italy’s patient was holidaying in the Canary Islands and is now in isolation at the Spallanzani hospital in Rome, the hospital said. Another two other suspected cases are being monitored, it added. This was never supposed to happen.
Even though monkeypox is a relatively new disease, cases were always extremely rare, and a global outbreak was always considered to be extremely unlikely because it was so hard to spread monkeypox.
Has something changed? A prominent infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins University is telling us that this virus “is spreading via physical touch”, and that it can spread “through respiratory droplets” under certain circumstances…
Dr Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, also told DailyMail.com that the virus is spreading via physical touch – and that it only spreads through respiratory droplets in the air in people that are already exhibiting symptoms.
That is extremely alarming to hear. But before we jump to conclusions, it is important to note that we still really don’t know too much about this virus. It hasn’t been around for that long, and scientists have long warned that it could potentially mutate into a more transmissible form…
For decades, a few scientists have voiced concerns that the monkeypox virus could have become better at infecting people—ironically because we eradicated its relative, smallpox, in the late 1970s.
The smallpox vaccine incidentally protected against monkeypox. And when new generations were born into a world without either smallpox or smallpox-vaccination campaigns, they grew up vulnerable to monkeypox. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, this dwindling immunity meant that monkeypox infections increased 20-fold in the three decades after smallpox vanished, as Rimoin showed in 2010.
That gives the virus more chances to evolve into a more transmissible pathogen in humans. To date, its R0—the average number of people who catch the disease from one infected person—has been less than 1, which means that outbreaks naturally peter out. But it could eventually evolve above that threshold, and cause more protracted epidemics, as Bergstrom simulated in 2003. “We saw monkeypox as a ticking time bomb,” he told me.
Hopefully, those that are investigating this new outbreak will soon be able to tell us whether the virus has mutated or not. Meanwhile, authorities are claiming that it seems to be particularly spreading among men that have sex with other men. The following comes from CNN…
Both in the United Kingdom and Canada, health authorities have noted that many of the monkeypox cases were identified in men who have sex with men — but the virus is not typically described as a sexually transmitted infection and investigations into these recent cases continue.
If this new outbreak continues to grow, it will only be a matter of time before people start clamoring for vaccines. Health officials say that the existing smallpox vaccine should offer at least some protection against monkeypox, and they are already considering giving it to certain groups…
CDC officials are evaluating whether smallpox vaccine should be offered to healthcare workers treating monkeypox patients and other people who may be at “high risk” for exposure to monkeypox, McQuiston said. “It’s definitely something that we’re discussing and evaluating, whether offering smallpox vaccine makes sense in the current setting,” she said. “We’ll be closer to making recommendations for that in the next day or so.”
And it is being reported that there are enough doses of the smallpox vaccine “to vaccinate basically everyone in the U.S.”… And as another bioterrorism precaution, stockpiles of three smallpox vaccines are large enough “to vaccinate basically everyone in the U.S.” Inglesby said. And though monkeypox patients usually get just supportive care, a possible treatment does exist and has also been stockpiled: Tecovirimat, or TPOXX, was developed to treat smallpox but would likely work for monkeypox too.
Hopefully, we never get to a point where officials feel like a full-blown vaccination campaign is needed. After what we have been through with COVID, nobody wants to see that. Apparently, a monkeypox vaccine already exists as well, and the New York Post is reporting that the U.S. has just ordered “13 million additional doses”…
The US has ordered 13 million additional doses of the monkeypox vaccine after a Massachusetts man contracted the rare — but potentially severe — virus, officials said Thursday. The massive $119 million order of Jynneos jabs — which can be used to treat both the monkeypox virus and smallpox — was created by the biotechnology company Bavarian Nordic, according to Newsweek. Authorities in the western world are certainly acting as if this is going to turn into something big.
Time will tell whether that turns out to be true or not. But without a doubt, I believe that we have entered a time in history when there will regularly be great pestilences. In secret labs all over the globe, mad scientists are feverishly trying to make the deadliest diseases on the planet even deadlier. I could not possibly overstate the foolishness of conducting such “research”, but no matter how much we object they are just going to continue their work.