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Monkeypox : What You Need To Know About This Viral Infection!

Monkeypox : What You Must Know About This Viral Infection!

zFind out what Monkeypox is all about, and whether it is a new viral infection we have to worry about!

 

Monkeypox : What You Need To Know

People are now worried about the rapid spread of monkeypox globally, with cases in at least 20 countries outside of Africa.

Here are some facts about monkeypox that you should know…

Monkeypox Is Different From COVID-19

First, let me just clearly state this – the monkeypox virus is completely different from the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

The monkeypox virus is a double-stranded DNA virus from the Orthopoxvirus genus in the Poxviridae family. It is closely related to the smallpox virus (variola)

The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a single-stranded RNA virus from the Betacoronavirus genus in the Coronaviridae family. It is closely related to the SARS virus (SARS-CoV-1).

Monkeypox Is A Zoonotic Disease

Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease that is primarily carried and spread by animals, especially primates.

It was first discovered in monkeys in 1958, giving rise to the name – monkeypox. The first human case was only reported in 1970.

Monkeypox Is Getting More Common

The monkeypox virus used to be a relatively rare zoonotic virus, with about 400 human infections reported from 1970 to 1986 that were mostly limited to Central and West Africa.

It is becoming more common though, with 2000 cases per year reported between 2011 and 2014. Several small outbreaks in the US (2003 and 2021), UK (2018 and 2021), and Singapore (2019) were also reported.

In the current 2022 outbreak, over 200 confirmed cases of monkeypox have been reported in 21 countries.

 

Monkeypox : Transmission, Mortality + Disease Progression

Monkeypox Transmission

The monkeypox virus are generally transmitted through these methods :

  • animal-to-human : close contact, scratches or bites, or direct contact with bodily fluids
  • human-to-human : respiratory droplets or contact with bodily fluids or fomites (contaminated surfaces)

The virus enters the body through broken skin and the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth.

Risk factors for human transmission include sharing the same bed or room with an infected person, as well as having sexual intercourse or sharing utensils.

Read more : Monkeypox Outbreak In 20 Countries : Is It A New Pandemic?

Monkeypox Mortality Rate

Monkeypox is not as easily transmitted as COVID-19, but has a significantly higher mortality rate depending on the strain :

  • West African strain : 1% to 3%
  • Central African strain : 10%

Fortunately, the infections in the 2022 monkeypox outbreak are of the less virulent West African strain.

How A Monkeypox Infection Progresses

After infection, the incubation period is usually 7-14 days, but can vary from 5-21 days.

The patient will start experiencing general symptoms like fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

Within 1-3 days though, the patient will develop lesions in the mouth, before they appear on the face and then spread to other parts of the body.

  • The first lesions appear on the tongue and in the mouth
  • A macular rash (flat, discoloured) then appears on the face, before spreading to the arms and legs and then hands and feet.
  • The macular rash will typically spread to the entire body within 24 hours, but is most concentrated on the face, arms and legs.
  • By the third day of the rash, the lesions will develop into elevated and palpable papules.
  • By the fourth to fifth day of the rash, the lesions will become fluid-filled vesicles.
  • By the sixth to seventh day, the vesicles will become pustular (filled with pus).
  • The pustules will be round and firm, with a depression in the centre, for the next 5-7 days.
  • By the end of the second week, the pustules will scab over for about a week before falling off.

Only after ALL of the scabs have fallen off is a person considered no longer contagious.

After the scabs have fallen off, the affected skin may appear pale before becoming dark marks, sometimes becoming pitted scars.

 

Monkeypox : Testing, Treatment + Prevention

Monkeypox Testing

Confirmation of a monkeypox infection is based on the detection of its viral DNA through real-time or conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

The doctor will swab the lesions and/or exudate and/or crusts, which is different from how samples are collected for COVID-19 tests.

Monkeypox Treatment

There is currently no proven treatment for monkeypox infections, which will generally resolve over 2-4 weeks.

Patient care is usually supportive in nature (antipyretic medicine, fluid balance and oxygenation), but in severe cases, several antiviral treatments can be attempted :

  • Cidofovir and Brincidofovir (CMX001), which have proven activity against poxviruses in laboratory and animal studies.
  • Tecovirimat (ST-246), which was shown in animal studies to be effective in treating orthopoxvirus-induced disease.
  • Vaccinia Immune Globulin (VIG)

I should point out that none of these antiviral treatments have been proven to work against monkeypox.

Smallpox Vaccine Can Protect Against Monkeypox

The monkeypox virus is so closely related to the (eradicated) smallpox virus, that the smallpox vaccine can protect against monkeypox.

The smallpox vaccine called JYNNEOS (Imvamune / Imvanex) was earlier proven to be at least 85% effective in preventing monkeypox, and was thus licensed for use against monkeypox. Another smallpox vaccine called ACAM2000 may also be used.

The smallpox vaccine can also be given to those who were just exposed to the virus, to reduce its symptoms.

But please do NOT call up your local clinic to ask for the smallpox vaccine. It has not been available in many countries for decades because smallpox was effectively eradicated in 1980.

Other Preventive Measures

In the absence of the smallpox vaccine, the same measures used to avoid COVID-19 can be adopted to also avoid monkeypox :

  • Avoid contact with animals that can harbour the virus, particular animals that are sick or have been found dead
  • Avoid contact with infected monkeypox patients and their close contacts
  • Avoid contact with objects or surfaces that have been in contact with a sick person / animal
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE) while caring for patients – N95 face mask, face shield, etc.
  • Practice good hand hygiene, washing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser

Monkeypox Isolation

Monkeypox patients must be isolated either in a hospital or at home, until all lesions are clear with a fresh layer of skin.

Close contact with other people should be avoided until all scabs have dropped off, which usually takes 2-4 weeks.

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Fact Check : Parishioners Go Down On Pastor For Holy Milk?

Did female parishioners go down on an evangelical pastor in Brazil, for his holy milk?

Find out what’s this holy milk business all about, and what the FACTS really are!

 

Parishioners Go Down On Pastor For Holy Milk?

This viral news has been circulating in several forms over the years. And it keeps getting shared as something new.

Many people just share the pictures, with some comments about the pastor offering his female parishioners his holy milk.

This is the “full version” that some are sharing, and is being posted on various “viral websites”.

Pastor Makes Females Give Oral In Church, Says To Get Holy Milk

Sao Paulo: An evangelical pastor has been arrested for raping his faithful, after convincing them that his reproductive organs contained “holy milk” which they need for holy healing.

Sobrino Valdeci Picanto, an evangelical pastor from Brazil, persuaded his followers that he practiced his strange beliefs because it was the way he preached the word, saying that his ‘milk’ was sacred.

And this pastor said his reproductives was blessed and that “the Lord had consecrated with divine milk of the Holy Spirit” and of course, had to go around evangelizing.

 

Pastor Valdeci’s Holy Milk : The Truth

The truth is this is just a fake story, created by a “satire” website, and reposted by many viral websites for the purpose of getting page views.

Here are the reasons why this is just another fake story…

Fact #1 : Sobrino Valdeci Picanto Does Not Exist

There is no Brazilian named Sobrino Valdeci Picanto as far as we can tell, much less an evangelical pastor called Sobrino Valdeci Picanto. For an evangelical priest, he seems to have an extremely focused and limited digital footprint.

There are over 4,300 references to “Sobrino Valdeci Picanto” in Google and every single one of them referred to the same fake story.

More importantly, none of them were from a credible source like O Globo, The Rio Times, or even tabloids like Super Notícia.

Fact #2 : That Lady Ate Grass, Not Holy Milk

The picture showing a lady about to puke her guts out, is actually a picture of a South African lady who just ate grass on the orders of her pastor.

In January 2014, Pastor Lesego Daniel ordered his congregation to get on their knees and eat grass to “be closer to God”.

God is at work and His people are testifying right now at the farm. TO GOD BE THE GLORY.”

After they ate the grass outside Rabboni Centre Ministries in Garankuwa (just north of Pretoria), he stomped on them until they vomited.

Fact #3 : The Lady In Screenshot Is A Porn Star

The “leaked video” does not exist, and the lady in the “screenshot” is actually a porn star called Tiffany Six.

The picture was a crop from a screenshot from one of her porn movies.

Fact #4 : It Was Created By Jesus Manero

This fake story was created by Victor Berriel, who posted it on the Brazilian satire blog, Jesus Manero on 11 January 2012.

The pastor in the original version was actually called “Valdecir Picanto Sobrinho“, not “Sobrino Valdeci Picanto”.

Here is a screenshot of the original Jesus Manero article, in Portuguese.

Please help us fight fake news, by sharing this fact check with your family and friends!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Did WHO Announce A New Pandemic Virus Called Marburg?

Did the WHO just announce a new pandemic virus called Marburg?!

Take a look at the viral video, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Did WHO Announce A New Pandemic Virus Called Marburg?

People are sharing this video of WHO Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announcing an outbreak of the new Marburg virus in the country of Guinea in West Africa.

For your reference, here is a transcript of what Dr. Tedros said and the video (with our overlays to prevent abuse) :

The Ministry of Health of Guinea informed WHO of a case of Marburg virus disease in the country’s south west [region], a man who died 8 days after onset of symptoms.

This is the first known case of Marburg in West Africa.

WHO and our partners are supporting Guinea’s Ministry of Health to investigate the source of the outbreak, trace contacts and inform the local community about how to protect themselves.

About 150 contacts have been identified and are being followed up, including 3 family members and a health worker who have been identified as high-risk close contacts.

Marburg is a very different virus to the one that cause COVID-19, but many of the elements of the response are the same – isolating and caring for those infected, tracing and quarantining their contacts and engaging local communities in the response.

There is no licensed vaccine for Marburg, although there are vaccines under development. And WHO is working with our partners to seek opportunities to assist them during this outbreak through the R&D blueprint for epidemics.

Anti-vaccination activists like Graham Hood, a former Qantas pilot, are using this Marburg virus announcement to claim that COVID-19 vaccination is “pointless” :

For those of you who think that being vaccinated is going to return us to a normal life, have a look at the news today from …

Dr Tedros from the World Health Organisation, who announced there is a new pandemic coming, there is a new virus that’s not linked to COVID and it’s called Marburg.

His advice is for countries to treat Marburg as they have treated COVID. A different vaccination is already being worked on … they knew about it before they announced it. They have been working on the vaccine for a while.

 

Truth : WHO Did Not Announce A New Pandemic Virus Called Marburg

This is yet another example of viral fake news circulating on WhatsApp, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Marburg Virus Is Not New

Marburg virus is NOT a new virus. It was actually discovered in 1967, in Marburg, Germany. Hence, the name – Marburg virus.

It spread to the Frankfurt, as well as Belgrade, the capital of Yugoslavia. 31 people were infected, and 7 of them died.

Fact #2 : Marburg Virus Is Similar To Ebola

The Marburg virus belongs to the same Filoviridae (filovirus) family as Ebola viruses, and cause clinically similar diseases characterised by haemorrhagic fever and capillary leakage.

Like Ebola, Marburg has a high mortality rate, varying from 24% to 88%, with an average of 50%.

Fact #3 : Video Was From 9 August 2021

The video was recorded on 9 August 2021, so it’s not a new video.

Fact #4 : Marburg Outbreak Was Over By September 2021

The Ministry of Health of Guinea informed WHO of one confirmed case of Marburg disease virus (MVD) in south-western Guinea on 6 August 2021.

The Ministry of Health of Guinea declared the end of the outbreak on 16 September 2021.

Fact #5 : Only One Person Died

A total of 173 contacts were identified, including 14 high-risk contacts. Fortunately, no one else developed symptoms.

Only the man, who was identified as the first known case of Marburg virus disease in Guinea, died.

Fact #6 : Marburg Virus Has Low Pandemic Risk

Marburg virus primarily transmits through direct contact with blood and/or bodily fluids of infected persons or animals; and through exposure to infected Rousettus bats.

This greatly reduces its transmissibility, compared to a respiratory virus like SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19.

So while Marburg is more likely to kill an infected person than SARS-CoV-2, it does not transmit as easily and is very unlikely to become a pandemic.

Fact #7 : Marburg Virus Has No Relevance To COVID-19 Pandemic

Anti-vaccination activists like Graham Hood, a former Qantas pilot, are using this Marburg virus announcement as “evidence” that vaccination is useless and pointless.

Their contention is – why get vaccinated against COVID-19 when new viruses like Marburg will keep coming up, with new vaccines?

Obviously, Marburg is not a new virus as I mentioned earlier. But more importantly, it is not related to SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19.

Whether there is a Marburg outbreak or not, the COVID-19 vaccines will protect us against infection, hospitalisation or death from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Fact #8 : Marburg Vaccines Have Been Under Development For Years

Marburg vaccines have been under development for years because it was discovered a long time ago.

The claim that WHO was secretly working on the vaccines before announcing this “new virus” is completely FALSE, and is based on their ignorance that Marburg virus was discovered 55 years ago!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Kashi Mining Company : Fake Procurement Scam Alert!

The Kashi Mining Company has come under scrutiny for falsely using the photos of Malaysia’s Director-General of Health, as well as other notable Malaysians.

Find out what they did, and why it is a fake company website being used to scam people of their money!

 

Kashi Mining Company : Fake Company

Malaysia’s Director-General of Health, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, publicly announced that Kashi Mining Company has falsely used his picture, listing him as their COO.

It cast a spotlight on Kashi Mining Company, that claims to be an award-winning company based in Labuan, and yet owns 5 gem mines around the world.

Their management team appears to be comprised of respectable-looking Malaysians. However, a closer look will reveal that Kashi Mining Company misappropriated photos of notable Malaysians :

  • Mohamed Lew (CEO) : That is really Mohamad Abdullah, the Senior Deputy Registrar of Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Student Affairs and Alumni Department.
  • Aidan Razif (COO) : That is really Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, the Malaysia Director-General of Health.
  • Imran Sin (Managing Director) : That is really Alex Ng, Goodyear Malaysia’s Managing Director.
  • Umar Yow (Company Secretary) : That is really KM Liew, Director and Head of IT & Mobile, Samsung Malaysia.

A quick check of their company address and Google location – both slightly different locations in Labuan, showed that the company does not exist, at least at those locations.

 

Kashi Mining Company : Fake Website

The Kashi Mining Company website is not only full of bad grammar and spelling mistakes, the pictures used have also been misappropriated.

The pictures of the mining vehicles and mining operations have all been taken from companies like MEDATECH Engineering Services, MacLean Engineering, and Epiroc.

We added the scam alert overlay to avoid that screenshot from being abused. Needless to say, Kashi Mining Company does not have 250 staff manning 5 gem mines across the world.

A quick WHOIS check of their domain also reveals that this is a relatively new website, with the domain registered only in October 2019 :

Registrar : NAMECHEAP INC
Whois Server: whois.namecheap.com
Status : clientTransferProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientTransferProhibited

Registered On : 2019-10-18
Expires On : 2020-10-18

Registrant Name : WhoisGuard Protected

IP Address : 104.194.10.93
Hosting Company : HostNowNow.com

Obviously, a genuine award-winning gem mining company would not have such a new website and domain.

In addition, they would not hide their contact details using a protection service like WhoisGuard.

 

Kashi Mining Company : Fake Procurement Scam!

The truth is the Kashi Mining Company does not exist, and their website is part of a fake procurement scam.

Popular in West African countries like Benin, Cameroon, and Nigeria, these scammers offer you a chance to bid on a contract for a large quantity of their products. Gems in this case.

They will offer you extremely good prices on their products, and use fake companies with websites like Kashi Mining Company to trick you into believing that they are genuine.

A different version of the scam flips the narrative – the scammers will offer to purchase large quantities of your products, like machinery.

Whether they offer to sell or purchase, you will be asked to pay some kind of processing fee or legal fees, by government authorities or their lawyers or even transportation companies.

All you need to know is that these are SCAMMERS out to cheat you of your money.

Don’t fall for their tricks. Make sure you WARN your family and friends!

 

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iflix Africa Is Online! iflix Now Available In 23 Territories

1 June 2017 – iflix today announced the establishment of iflix Africa to bring its world class service to sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). iflix Africa will be headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa and trade commercially as ‘iflix’. With launches planned in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, iflix Africa will increase iflix’s global footprint to 23 territories worldwide, with additional regional markets to be added over the coming months.

 

iflix Africa Is Online!

The commercial launch of iflix’s SVOD service across SSA is planned over the second and third quarter of 2017, and will make iflix’s vast range of thousands of TV shows, movies and more, including many first run exclusives and award winning programs available to hundreds of millions of consumers across the region. In addition to having the best of Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood and other regional and local programming, the service will additionally offer an extensive collection of highly acclaimed African shows and movies with iflix Africa planning to introduce exclusive African content series.

Having first launched its service in May 2015, iflix quickly established its dominance in the Asian region, rolling out its world class service to 18 markets across Asia and MENA in less than two years, acquiring over 5 million members over the period. iflix Africa will capitalize on SSA’s large youth population, rapidly growing internet and smartphone penetration, and huge appetite for digital content and entertainment.

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Mark Britt, iflix Co-founder and CEO said: “The establishment of iflix Africa represents an incredibly exciting step in iflix’s growth story. As Africa transitions from the margins to the mainstream of the global economy, there is a unique, ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to fundamentally shift the way a billion people consume and enjoy content. By 2020, Africa will have 720 million smartphone users. We aim to meet the entertainment needs of those growingly connected viewers.”

“As the fastest-growing mobile market on earth, Africa is without question one of the world’s most dynamic regions. We are thrilled to introduce our first-of-its-kind SVoD service here. We are passionately focused on providing the broadest selection of premium content at a price everyone can afford. We can’t wait to tackle both the enormous opportunities and challenges ahead, in serving this incredibly diverse and exciting region,” added Andre de Wet, iflix Head of Africa.

Currently available to over one billion consumers in 18 markets across Asia and MENA, iflix will soon roll-out its world class service across sub-Saharan Africa with initial launches in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Each subscription will allow users to access the service on up to five devices, including phones, laptops, tablets, and television sets, for viewing wherever, whenever.

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