June 17, 2022 at 9:36 a.m.
Monkeypox has been in the news with cases having been reported in the U.S. and other countries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted data June 10 showing that California had 10 cases; New York, 11; Florida, 5; and Illinois, 4. Those were the states with the highest numbers, but 12 additional states and the District of Columbia had cases.
On June 10 CDC posted the global case counts. The United Kingdom had 366 cases, the most. Spain had 275; Portugal, 209; Germany, 165; Canada, 116; France, 91; Netherlands, 60; U.S, 48; Italy, 29; Belgium, 24; Switzerland, 14; and United Arab Emirates, 13. Some countries had numbers below 10.
Experts have argued how monkeypox is spread. According to a report published by the New York Times online June 10, the CDC said the virus was "usually transmitted through direct physical contact with sores or contaminated materials from a patient."
Others have said monkeypox could possibly be spread through airborne transmission. "The World Health Organization (WHO) and several experts have said that while 'short-range' airborne transmission of monkeypox appears to be uncommon, it is possible and warrants precautions. Britain also includes monkeypox on its list of 'high-consequence infectious diseases' that can be spread through the air," nytimes.com reported.
May 13, 2022, is the date when non-endemic countries across three regions first reported monkeypox cases to WHO, the organization said online May 21. Cases have swelled since May.
In the U.S. "a few patients in the current outbreak do not know when or how they contracted the virus, CDC officials acknowledged," nytimes.com said June 10.
Monkeypox tends to have "flulike symptoms before a characteristic rash appears" but some patients have developed a rash first, nytimes.com said. In short, many unknowns about monkeypox exist.
With uncertainty about how monkeypox is spread, how soon could tests be developed to indicate if a person already has the disease? Is that type of test warranted? Could a test be developed that indicates a person has been exposed to the disease? (Probably not but worth considering.) Should travel restrictions into the U.S. be implemented to prohibit people traveling here from countries with high rates or increasing rates of monkeypox cases? The U.S. should be concerned about travelers coming into the country and act swiftly, but how?
What is the mortality rate for monkeypox? "Most people with monkeypox will recover on their own. But 5% of people with monkeypox die. It appears that the current strain causes less severe disease. The mortality rate is about 1% with the current strain," health.ucdavis.edu said May 24.
Be forewarned. Monkeypox is a valid concern. To be proactive, learn as much as you can about monkeypox as news unfolds. News about it will change daily.
People don't want additional stress in their lives, but monkeypox shouldn't be ignored.