Monkeypox has been declared a national public health emergency. Two epidemiologists from the University of Michigan School of Public Health discuss the disease and its impact.
Joseph Eisenberg, professor of epidemiology, is an infectious disease epidemiologist who studies infectious diseases environmental determinants, with a focus on water-borne and vector-borne diseases. Andrew Brouwer, assistant research scientist in epidemiology, uses mathematical and statistical models to address public health problems in infectious diseases, cancer and tobacco control.
Now monkeypox virus (MPV) should we be worried ? ) has been declared a public health emergency in the United States?
Brouwer: MPV has been approved by the World Health Organization, the United States The Department of Health and Human Services and some states and localities have declared a public health emergency. These statements help draw attention to the topic, strengthen a coordinated response, and provide funding and resources. That doesn’t mean we’re all in imminent danger of being infected.
Will monkeypox be the next epidemic?
Eisenberg: Monkeypox is next epidemic. It is spreading globally to several countries including the United States. In the United States, cases have rapidly risen to the thousands. However, this is a different type of epidemic than what we’ve seen with COVID because it’s much less contagious and it’s currently affecting a specific risk group that involves very close, close contacts. So yes, it’s a pandemic, but it’s not the same as the COVID pandemic.
Brouwer: The COVID-19 pandemic has made us susceptible to disease transmission. Other outbreaks, such as the hepatitis A epidemic (primarily 2016-2018, with more than 30,000 cases in the US), have received much less attention. That’s not to say we should let MPV and other outbreaks fly under the radar, but we should have some perspective that outbreaks of various diseases are happening all the time and not all of them are existential threats. It is good to give a lot of attention to MPV so that transmission can be interrupted and those infected can be treated. But MPV is not the next COVID.
Unlike SARS-CoV-2, MPV is not transmitted through casual contact. It is mainly transmitted sexually. It’s unlikely to become a widespread epidemic among the wider public, and we shouldn’t be too concerned about catching it in public. However, the virus may have spread to many parts of the country, so sexually active people should watch for these signs and discuss MPV with their sexual partners.
What is monkeypox?
Eisenberg: Monkeypox is A viral disease associated with smallpox. It differs from smallpox in that the disease is mainly transmitted in non-human animals such as rodents and primates – what we call zoonotic diseases – and has historically been endemic in central and western Africa, mainly in in tropical rainforest areas.
Historically, monkeypox can be transmitted from animals to humans with limited human-to-human transmission. But what’s different about this new strain is that it now spreads faster through close human-to-human contact and in different countries around the globe. We don’t fully understand why this strain is spreading globally.
How is monkeypox spread?
Eisenberg: This virus is through It is spread by very close contact, usually skin-to-skin. Monkeypox causes lesions and rashes, and the fluid from the lesions and rashes is contagious. It can also be through droplets, the droplets released through your mouth, or even just by speaking. In addition, the virus can contaminate objects such as fabrics and live there for a period of time, and people can become infected by touching these objects, but this mode of transmission seems to be rare.
Brouwer: The vast majority of monkeypox transmission is through skin-to-skin sexual contact. Transmission can also occur through non-sexual close contact and contaminated objects, usually in the home.
We should be worried that this will spread like COVID-19 ?
Eisenberg: No. The biggest difference between monkeypox and the new coronavirus is that monkeypox is much less effective at spreading. First, it cannot be atomized into the air, so it stays in the air for hours or even days like COVID. Second, it requires higher doses to get infected. So the fact that it’s much less contagious is one of the reasons why monkeypox doesn’t spread the way we’ve seen with COVID.
Furthermore, it is believed that only symptomatic individuals who develop these rashes and lesions are contagious. As far as we know, people who are infected but develop symptoms cannot spread the disease. This is also very different from COVID, because someone can walk around with COVID without any symptoms and be contagious and spread the disease.
What are the symptoms?
Eisenberg: Many of the initial symptoms of monkeypox are our Talking about broad-spectrum symptoms like fever, headache, muscle aches, typical respiratory symptoms — not necessarily the type of symptoms you think it’s monkeypox, not COVID, the flu, or the common cold. Lesions are the most typical symptom of monkeypox. These lesions are diagnostic for clinicians, oh, it’s monkeypox, not COVID. This is sometimes a little later than the first stage of your general fever, headache, and respiratory symptoms.
What should someone do if they experience these symptoms?
Eisenberg: If they have these symptoms, they should self-isolate. If they have lesions and rashes, they should even be separated at home, separating themselves from animals, as this can spread to animals as well as family members. It is also prudent to then contact their doctor to see if a treatment is available for them.
There is some confusion about the spread of this disease, and A lot of people focus on the gay and queer community. Is MPV a STD? Should we focus on those communities?
Brouwer: MPV is a sexually transmitted infection. Sexual transmission is not the only mode of transmission, but it is by far the most important mode of transmission. The fact is that 98% of the global cases of this epidemic occur among men who have sex with men. Masking this fact can lead to incorrect risk perceptions for both low-risk and high-risk individuals. It’s possible to be blunt about who is currently at the highest risk and what precautions can be taken without stigmatizing the population as a whole. In general, public health messaging needs to better recognize that disease generates fear responses, and that infected people (of any type) are often blamed for their infection. We’ve seen this with the COVID-19 pandemic as well.
How should the public pay attention? Should everyone be vaccinated?
Eisenberg: Only people have been potentially exposed Or those with high-risk behaviors or those who are immunocompromised should consider getting vaccinated. It’s just not broad enough to make it something everyone deserves.
Brouwer: No, at this point the vaccine should be targeting high-risk groups. There is little sign that the outbreak will spread among larger populations. However, it can become an endemic STI, so ongoing awareness and education is important.
So if I go to the grocery store, I probably don’t Got monkeypox?
Eisenberg: Exactly. So it’s not the kind of casual contact that can happen and cause the spread of COVID, the flu, the common cold, which are things you can get just by going to the grocery store. Monkeypox is much less contagious.
Can you talk about zoonotic diseases and How does climate change affect how often we see these types of diseases?
Eisenberg: Zoonoses are Diseases from non-human animals, livestock and even wildlife. Most emerging and re-emerging pathogens that become human diseases, including all childhood diseases such as measles and smallpox, are initially zoonotic. That is, pathogens have emerged from animals in human populations since the development of agriculture. Agriculture has created a situation of more intimate contact with animals.
Climate change exacerbates the risk of new species. Emerging or re-emerging pathogens that we have all the time. For some pathogens, we will see wider and more intense transmission. For other pathogens, we will only see geographic changes. That is, some places will have less transmission, and in some places ours will increase.
The geographic shift of this spread will be challenging. Public health infrastructure must be more flexible and flexible to deal with future risks that may differ from the past. So we shouldn’t just focus on the idea that climate change will increase disease risk, but the location of high-risk areas will change over time.
Citation : Experts discuss monkeypox symptoms, transmission (August 10, 2022) , Retrieved on August 20, 2022 https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-08-experts-discuss-monkeypox-symptoms.html
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