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Over 560 Monkeypox Cases Confirmed In 25 Countries!

Over 560 Monkeypox Cases Confirmed In 25 Countries!

Over 560 monkeypox cases have now been confirmed in at least 25 countries outside of Africa!

Find out if the monkeypox outbreak could become a new pandemic we have to worry about!

 

Over 560 Monkeypox Cases Confirmed In 25 Countries!

People are now worried about the rapid spread of monkeypox globally. although the WHO has said that it is unlikely to become a pandemic like COVID-19.

Discovered in 1958, the first human infection was only reported in 1970, and there were only like 400 cases from 1970 to 1986.

Monkeypox became more common over time, with 2000 cases per year reported between 2011 and 2014, and several outbreaks in the US (2003 and 2021), UK (2018 and 2021), and Singapore (2019)..

However, nothing has come close to the 2022 monkeypox outbreak which has now affected at least 25 countries outside of Africa, with over 560 cases!

Country Confirmed
Cases
Suspected
Cases
Total
United Kingdom 179 179
Spain 120 120
Portugal 96 96
Canada 26 37 63
Germany 33 33
Netherlands 26 26
France 17 17
United States 15 15
Italy 14 14
Belgium 9 9
Czech Republic 5 5
Switzerland 4 4
UAE 4 4
Sweden 3 3
Ireland 2 1 3
Argentina 2 2
Australia 2 2
Denmark 2 2
Israel 2 2
Slovenia 2 2
Austria 1 1
Finland 1 1
Malta 1 1
Mexico 1 1
Thailand 1 1
TOTAL 568 56 617

 

Monkeypox Cases May Increase, But Unlikely To Become Pandemic

On 30 May 2022, the World Health Organisation’s top monkeypox expert, Dr. Rosamund Lewis, gave a public briefing on the 2022 monkeypox outbreak.

Here is a summary of the key points Dr. Lewis shared in that public session :

  • She does not expect the monkeypox outbreak to turn into another pandemic like COVID-19.
  • There are still many unknowns about this outbreak, including how exactly it is spreading.
  • The suspension of mass smallpox immunisation decades ago may have resulted in increased transmission.
  • Vast majority of current cases seen in gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men.
  • There is a higher proportion of people with fewer visible lesions that are more concentrated in the genital region, and sometimes nearly impossible to see. This is a danger because they are infectious even though their lesions are not visible.
  • There is a window of opportunity to shut down the outbreak so it does not become endemic in new areas.

Fortunately, the 2022 monkeypox outbreak appears to be of the less virulent West African strain, because there is no proven treatment.

The smallpox vaccine can offer up to 85% protection against monkeypox, and certain antiviral treatments can be attempted.

But otherwise – hospitals can only offer supportive treatment as the patient isolates for 2-4 weeks until the disease resolves.

Read more : What You Must Know About Monkeypox!

Monkeypox primarily spreads through close contact, but can spread through respiratory droplets. However, it is far less contagious and is not airborne like COVID-19.

Infected people are also not considered contagious until they start showing symptoms, which limits transmission. This is unlike COVID-19 which is often spread by people who are asymptomatic.

The best way to describe its ability to infect people would be to understand its R0 (Reproduction Number, pronounced as R naught) – how many people an infected person is expected to pass the disease along to.

The ancestral COVID-19 virus has an R0 of between 2 to 3, which increased to 8 with the Omicron variant. That’s really contagious – every infected person will (on average) transmit the virus to 8 other people.

On the other hand, past outbreaks of monkeypox had an R0 of less than one. That means even though there may be clusters of several cases, even outbreaks, the cases die out on their own.

Virus R0
Measles 12 to 18
Omicron COVID-19 8
Smallpox 5 to 7
Ancestral COVID-19 2 to 3
H1N1 (2009) 1.5 to 2.5
Monkeypox <1

Monkeypox fortunately does not spread very efficiently between humans. Generally, you need to have skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, or come into contact with his/her bodily fluids, to get infected.

The people most at risk would be close contacts of the infected person, like family members or healthcare workers taking care of them.

Transmission is really happening from close physical contact, skin-to-skin contact. It’s quite different from COVID in that sense.
– Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO Infectious Disease Epidemiologist

It’s not as highly transmissible as something like smallpox, or measles, or certainly not Covid. It does not spread easily from person to person, the risk to the general public is low.
– Anne Rimoin, infectious disease epidemiologist at University of California.

That is why it is very unlikely to become a pandemic, although if it spreads to susceptible rodent populations, it could become endemic in those areas.

There is also the fact that the monkeypox is so closely related to the smallpox virus, the smallpox vaccine offers 85% protection against monkeypox infections.

In fact, one smallpox vaccine – JYNNEOS – was approved in the United States to serve as protection against monkeypox. Even though there is no public access to this vaccine, that can quickly change.

Several countries, including the United States, have strategic reserves of smallpox vaccines, which can be deployed in a monkeypox outbreak.

Countries have also started purchasing smallpox vaccines :

  • 19 May 2022 : Spain’s Ministry of Health announced that it was in the process of purchasing thousands of doses of smallpox vaccines
  • 24 May 2022 : CDC announced that the US is in the process of releasing some JYNNEOS smallpox vaccine doses for people who are “high risk”.
  • 25 May 2022 : the German government announced that it was buying 40,000 doses of the JYNNEOS smallpox vaccine from Bavarian Nordic.
  • 26 May 2022 : the UK Health Security Agency announced that it purchased 20,000 doses of the JYNNEOS smallpox vaccine from Bavarian Nordic.

 

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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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Is Monkeypox Outbreak From Lab Strain Made In Ukraine?!

Is the current monkeypox outbreak from a lab strain made in Ukraine?!

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

 

Claim : Monkeypox Outbreak Is From Lab Strain Made In Ukraine!

People are sharing tweets by a Dr. Benjamin Braddock who claimed that the 2022 monkeypox outbreak is from a “third lab strain” made by the US in Ukraine!

ECDC source tells me that the preliminary analysis of monkeypox indicates that it is “a third lab strain with unknown characteristics” and that there is chatter about this being somehow related to Moscow’s charges against U.S. biological activities in Ukraine.

A Russian-Chinese joint task force has been tasked with establishing: where it originated, whether it is detectable in research conducted by the US in Ukraine, Georgia; whether there is a link to biological research conducted by the US on smallpox in Ukraine.

Main ECDC focus right now is on buying up as much of BN’s vaccine as possible. “They’re buying before they know whether it is even effective against this strain of monkeypox. I wouldn’t be surprised if they skipped testing it’s efficacy altogether.”

 

Truth : Monkeypox Outbreak Is Not From Lab Strain Made In Ukraine!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS being created and shared by people on social media, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : There Is No Third Lab Strain

The monkeypox virus has two clades, based on where they were commonly found – Congo Basin (Central Africa), and West Africa.

There is no such thing as a third lab strain or species or clade of the monkeypox virus.

Fact #2 : Strain Is A Subset Of Species

While it is impossible to prove what does not exist (Bertrand Russell’s teapot analogy), the claim that there is “a third lab strain” shows that the person creating the fake news does not know the difference between strain, species and clade.

In virology, a clade is technically a group of species that arose from a common ancestor, of which each species may give rise to different strains (sub-species).

Credit : Galaxy Advanced Microbial Diagnostics

If there is a new strain, it would not have been called “a third lab strain”. It would have just been called a new strain.

The introduction of the word “third” implies that the fake news creator believes that clade = strain, which is completely false.

Obviously, the fake news creator does not know much about virology, and is very unlikely to be working at the ECDC.

Fact #3 : 2022 Monkeypox Outbreak From West African Clade

Neither the European Centre for Diseases Prevention and Control (ECDC) or other health authorities like the US CDC has announced the discovery of a new strain or clade of the monkeypox virus.

In fact, the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated on 21 May 2022, that all cases in the 2022 monkeypox outbreaks have been confirmed to involve the “West African clade“.

Fact #4 : No Evidence Current Virus Was Lab Made

Again, it is impossible to prove what does not exist – that the current monkeypox virus was not made in the lab. However, all the evidence points to a natural source of this virus.

Not only is the 2022 monkeypox virus is from an existing clade, genomic sequencing also indicated that this current virus was a close match of the monkeypox virus that were “exported” from Nigeria to the United Kingdom, Israel and Singapore in 2018 and 2019.

In other words – all of the evidence so far point us to a natural variant of an existing monkeypox virus that had already caused several outbreaks in the past.

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

Fact #5 : US Does Not Have Biological Labs In Ukraine

Braddock is repeating the oft-debunked false claim that the US has biological labs in Ukraine.

The truth is – they are Ukrainian biological laboratories, some of which receive financial and other support from the US, the European Union and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

This is not unique to Ukraine – biological labs in many countries receive similar support from the US, EU and the WHO.

Fact #6 : US Sponsored Biological Threat Reduction In Ukraine

US sponsorship of biological labs in former Soviet Union countries like Ukraine go back decades, and is centred around the Biological Threat Reduction Program.

As the name implies, the program aims to train and equip the partner nation to detect and prevent the threat of infectious diseases, whether they are deliberate, accidental or natural.

The program aims to counter biological threats in a partner country, at the source, before the threat can reach the homeland of impact U.S. Armed Forces or allies.

The program also prevents proliferation by cooperating with partner countries to eliminate their biological weapons, associated materials, and production facilities.

Fact #7 : Biological Labs Are Essential To All Countries

Biological labs do not conduct biological warfare research, because that is banned in 183 countries under the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).

Instead, they are on the forefront of a country’s biosecurity defences, and are absolutely essential in developing tests and cures (including vaccines) for new and emerging diseases, like the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

In fact, both Russia and China have a number of biological labs, including the famous Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is located right at the epicentre of the first COVID-19 outbreak.

It is therefore misleading for anyone to demonise biological labs. After all, they are ESSENTIAL to every country’s national security, including their own.

Read more : Does US Have Biological Warfare Labs In South Korea?!

Fact #8 : There Is No Russian-Chinese Task Force

Braddock claimed that a Russian-Chinese task force was formed to find out where the monkeypox outbreaks originated, or whether it is “detectable in research conducted by the US in Ukraine / Georgia”.

Again, it is impossible to prove what does not exist, but we know that this is a false claim because :

  • Braddock offered no evidence for the formation of such a Russian-Chinese task force.
  • The 2022 monkeypox outbreak did not affect either Russia or China, so they have no access to any samples.
  • The US did not conduct any biological research in Ukraine or Georgia.
  • Smallpox is closely related to monkeypox, but is a completely different virus.

A Russian-Chinese joint task force has been tasked with establishing: where it originated, whether it is detectable in research conducted by the US in Ukraine, Georgia; whether there is a link to biological research conducted by the US on smallpox in Ukraine.

Fact #9 : JYNNEOS Was Tested Against Monkeypox

The monkeypox and smallpox viruses are so closely related that the smallpox vaccine has been used for years to protect against monkeypox and other orthopoxviruses.

The earlier ACAM2000 smallpox vaccine has been largely replaced by the JYNNEOS vaccine (also called Imvamune / Imvanex), which was proven to be at least 85% effective in preventing monkeypox.

In fact, it was licensed in 2019 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the prevention of both smallpox and monkeypox.

And again, the monkeypox virus causing the 2022 outbreak is a close match of the Western Africa clade monkeypox virus that caused the 2018 and 2019 outbreaks.

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out, and please support our work!

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

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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