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WHO Convenes Emergency Meeting On Monkeypox Outbreak!

WHO Convenes Emergency Meeting On Monkeypox Outbreak!

The WHO has convened an emergency meeting on the monkeypox outbreak that has spread to 56 countries!

Here is what you need to know…

 

WHO Convenes Emergency Meeting On Monkeypox Outbreak!

On 23 June 2022, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus convened an emergency committee meeting under Article 48 of the International Health Regulations to discuss the current monkeypox outbreak.

Chaired by Dr. Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele and Dr. Nicola Low, this emergency WHO meeting on monkeypox is only open to members and advisors of the Emergency Committee.

The findings of this emergency meeting would be conveyed to the Director-General of WHO, on whether the outbreak should be classified as a public health emergency of international concern, and also on potential recommendations on how to address it.

This meeting comes as an NGO called World Health Network (unrelated to WHO) issued a press release describing the current monkeypox outbreak as a “pandemic”, urging “immediate and effective action” from country and global health authorities.

This led to a bit of confusion, as their names and acronyms were similar (WHO vs WHN). To be clear, WHO has not declared a monkeypox pandemic.

Read more : What You Must Know About Monkeypox!

 

Over 4,000 Monkeypox Cases Confirmed In 56 Countries!

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 56 countries outside of endemic African countries, with over 4,000 cases!

Country Confirmed
Cases
Suspected
Cases
Total
Spain 918 100 1,018
United Kingdom 793 793
Germany 676 676
France 330 330
Portugal 328 328
Canada 223 45 268
United States 173 173
Netherlands 167 167
Italy 85 85
Belgium 77 1 78
Switzerland 52 52
Ireland 28 28
Ghana 18 18
Brazil 11 6 17
Israel 16 16
Australia 13 13
Denmark 13 13
Sweden 13 13
UAE 13 13
Austria 12 12
Poland 12 12
Mexico 9 9
Slovenia 9 9
Hungary 7 7
Czech Republic 6 6
Uganda 6 6
Romania 5 5
Argentina 4 4
Finland 4 4
Malta 4 4
Norway 4 4
Somalia 4 4
Chile 3 3
Colombia 3 3
Greece 3 3
Iceland 3 3
Bulgaria 2 2
Latvia 2 2
Morocco 1 1 2
Bahamas 1 1
Cayman Islands 1 1
Fiji 1 1
Georgia 1 1
Gibraltar 1 1
Haiti 1 1
Libya 1 1
Lebanon 1 1
Luxembourg 1 1
Serbia 1 1
Singapore 1 1
South Africa 1 1
South Korea 1 1
Uruguay 1 1
Venezuela 1 1
Zambia 1 1
TOTAL 4,049 170 4,219

 

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

The Monkeypox outbreak has been confirmed in at least 20 countries outside of Africa!

Find out what Monkeypox is all about, and whether it is a new pandemic we have to worry about!

 

Monkeypox Outbreak : Is It A Pandemic Risk?

People are now worried about the rapid spread of monkeypox globally.

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

However, it became more common over time, with 2000 cases per year reported between 2011 and 2014.

There were also several outbreaks in the US (2003 and 2021), UK (2018 and 2021), and Singapore (2019), but nothing matched the latest 2022 outbreak.

As of 25 May 2022, there were 230 confirmed cases in at least 20 countries outside of Africa, and suspected cases in two other countries.

Country Confirmed
Cases
Suspected
Cases
Total
Argentina 1 1
Australia 2 2
Austria 1 1
Belgium 6 1 7
Canada 15 1 16
Czech Republic 1 1
Denmark 2 2
Finland 1 1
France 5 5
Germany 5 5
Israel 1 1
Italy 6 2 8
Morocco 3 3
Netherlands 6 6
Portugal 49 49
Slovenia 1 1
Spain 51 43 94
Sweden 1 1
Switzerland 2 2
UAE 1 1
United Kingdom 71 71
United States 2 6 8
TOTAL 230 56 286

 

Monkeypox Outbreak : More Deadly, Unlikely To Cause A Pandemic

Monkeypox is more deadly than COVID-19, with mortality as high as 10% depending on the strain :

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

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, even though it is really abnormal for so many outbreaks to occur simultaneously.

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.

We have already worked to secure sufficient supply of effective treatments and vaccines to prevent those exposed from contracting monkeypox and treating people who’ve been affected.
– Dr. Raj Panjabi, White House Pandemic Office.

 

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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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Reiner Fuellmich COVID-19 Grand Jury Video Fact Checked!

The Reiner Fuellmich COVID-19 Grand Jury video keeps going viral on social media and WhatsApp groups.

Let’s take a look at what this COVID-19 Grand Jury is all about, and what the facts really are!

 

Reiner Fuellmich COVID-19 Grand Jury : What Does Video Claim?

There are several variants of the video circulating on social media, and WhatsApp group. Generally about 18 minutes in length, the video shows part of the Reiner Fuellmich COVID-19 Grand Jury Proceeding.

These proceedings, grandiosely named “Grand Jury Proceeding by the Peoples’ Court of Public Opinion, Empowering Public Conscience through Natural Law” consists of multiple 5 videos recorded over 5 days of “proceedings”.

The Grand Jury claims to be “a group of international lawyers and a judge” conducting a “criminal investigation” to present to a jury “all available evidence of COVID-19 Crimes Against Humanity“.

 

Reiner Fuellmich COVID-19 Grand Jury : Just Videos Of An RPG

This is yet another example of fake news created and propagated by Reiner Fuellmich and his group of anti-vaccination activists and COVID-19 deniers. Here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : There Is No Peoples’ Court of Public Opinion

The first thing you should know is that – there is no such thing as a “Peoples’ Court of Public Opinion“.

It is merely a grandiose, make-believe name they created for their videos, and people who watch them.

As they themselves explain, “This investigation is of the people, by the people and for the people and shall be referred to as the ‘Peoples´ Court of Public Opinion’.

By that definition – all websites and videos on the Internet are People’s Courts of Public Opinions as well.

Fact #2 : This Is Not A Legal Court

Lest there be any confusion – this is not a legal court where real lawyers present real evidence to a real jury, in front of a real judge, with real laws and rules governing the process, and real consequences.

As the group themselves admit, they were “unable to find a court to hear the actual evidence in the current system’s courts of law“.

In other words – they could not find a single court in the entire world to take their claims seriously. That’s how weak their case really is.

Fact #3 : Their Judge Was Expelled

Despite claiming to be a distinguished group of legal experts, they could only rope in Rui Fonseca e Castro, a former judge from Portugal.

Rui Fonseca e Castro used to be a judge in Portugal, but was suspended in September 2021 and then dismissed by the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) on 9 October 2021.

The CSM voted to dismiss Rui Fonseca e Castro as a judge for abusing his position as a judge to post videos on social networks to “encourage the violation of the law and health rules” concerning COVID-19.

Fact #3 : It Was Just A Role-Play Game

The whole Grand Jury Proceeding of the Peoples´ Court of Public Opinion by Reiner Fuellmich was nothing more than a role-playing game (RPG).

What you basically have is a group of anti-vaccination activists and/or COVID-19 deniers pretending to conduct an online “Grand Jury” proceeding.

The videos have a small overlay on the lower right corner – Model Proceeding, probably a legal device (e.g. This Is Not Real!) to avoid being sued for misrepresenting themselves.

Fact #4 : They Spend Their Time Role-Playing

Reiner Fuellmich is part of the Berlin Corona Committee – a group that loves role-playing games, probably because they cannot do anything real.

I covered their BasisCamp role-playing game back in August 2021, where they pretended to be the German government.

They went viral with a video of their announcement of a moratorium against COVID-19 vaccination in Germany, allegedly because there is no longer an epidemic.

Obviously, that did not happen. It was theatrics back then, and it’s just theatrics this time too.

Read more : Did Germany Put All COVID-19 Vaccines On Hold?

Fact #5 : Grand Jury Claims Have Been Proven False

The video being shared is basically Reiner Fuellmich’s opening statement in his make-believe COVID-19 Grand Jury.

In his 18-minute statement, he lists a litany of COVID-19 claims that have long been proven false. Here is just a small selection :

After over 2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems absurd that Fuellmich is unaware of these facts.

Don’t risk your life or your family’s lives on the bad science and misinformation promoted by Reiner Fuellmich and his compatriots.

Please help me 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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New Measures To Block Omicron Variant From Malaysia!

With the Omicron variant rapidly spreading across the globe, Malaysia has initiated new measures to block it from reaching our shores.

Here is what you need to know…

 

New Measures To Block Omicron Variant From Malaysia!

On 1 December 2021, the Malaysia Minister of Health Khairy Jamaluddin announced a series of new measures to block the Omicron variant from reaching our shores.

This decision came after 20 countries reported over 200 cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 :

Country Omicron
Cases
Country Omicron
Cases
South Africa 128 Austria 4
Botswana 19 Brazil 2
Portugal 13 Canada 2
The Netherlands 12 Japan 2
United Kingdom 9 Denmark 2
Australia 6 Spain 1
Hong Kong 5 Reunion Island (France) 1
Germany 5 Belgium 1
Italy 4 Czech Republic 1
Israel 4 Sweden 1

 

How Malaysia Intends To To Block Omicron Variant!

Temporary Travel Ban

Malaysia will no longer allow flights from or transiting through countries with Omicron variant transmission, or high risk countries, will be blocked.

These are the eight (8) countries that the Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM) has listed under the travel ban :

  • South Africa
  • Botswana
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Malawi

There is also a temporary travel ban for non-Malaysian citizens from those countries, including travellers who have been in those countries during the last 14 days prior to arrival.

Malaysian citizens and holders of long-term passes (PR status, spouse visa, MM2H and resident pass) are still ALLOWED to return to Malaysia, subject to these restrictions :

  • Irrespective of their vaccination status, they must undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine at a quarantine station.
  • They must undergo three RT-PCR COVID-19 tests :
    – within 72 hours before departure,
    – on arrival in Malaysia, and
    – on the 10th day of the mandatory quarantine
  • A risk assessment will be conducted on the 14th day of quarantine, which may be extended if the traveller is symptomatic.

Malaysian citizens who are planning to visit the listed countries are NOT ALLOWED to continue with their travel plans.

Vaccinated Travel Lane

Arrangements to create a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) with countries with Omicron variant transmission, or high risk countries, have been postponed.

In addition, the Malaysia-Singapore VTL programme for both air and land travel has been amended to require travellers to undergo additional COVID-19 self-tests on the 3rd and 7th day after arrival.

They must then report their test results in MySejahtera.

Monitoring Of Countries With Omicron Variant Cases

The Ministry of Health (KKM) will monitor and provide the other government ministries with a DAILY LIST of countries with Omicron variant cases, or at high risk.

Strengthening Of International Gateways

The Immigration Department of Malaysia has immediately STOPPED the use of the Autogate system.

Flights carrying passengers from the listed countries with Omicron variant transmission, or high risk countries, are only allowed to enter Malaysia through KLIA.

Airlines are responsible for identifying passengers travelling from countries with Omicron variant transmission, or high-risk countries. This information must be submitted to the KLIA Health Office for easier handling of the arrivals.

MAHB is required to create a special “gate” and path for travellers from countries with Omicron variant transmission, or high-risk countries, to undergo a health screening before undergoing their special quarantine.

International Students + Foreign Workers

International students and foreign workers from countries with Omicron variant cases, or high-risk countries, will be temporarily BANNED from entering Malaysia.

Langkawi International Tourism Bubble

Tourists from countries with Omicron variant transmission, or high-risk countries; or those with history of travel to those countries in the past 14 days, are NOT ALLOWED to participate in the Langkawi International Tourism Bubble.

Malaysian citizens (Langkawi residents) returning from countries with Omicron variant transmission, or high-risk countries, are ALLOWED to return to Malaysia, but only through KLIA and must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine in a special quarantine station.

Foreign tourists who are confirmed to be positive with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 will be isolated and treated in a private hospital, at their own cost.

 

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

Name : Adrian Wong
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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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