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The Blunderbuss - Poxes and problems

The Blunderbuss
Monday, May 23, 2022

Hot Shot …
Great…now we have monkeypox to worry about. Global health officials have sounded an alarm over rising cases in Europe, the U.S., and elsewhere of the virus that is usually seen only in African countries. As of today, the World Health Organization reported that the global total had risen to 110 confirmed cases and more than 200 people undergoing testing.Two cases have been confirmed in New York and Massachusetts with a presumptive third case just identified in Florida. A handful of other people in the U.S. are being monitored.
On Wednesday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemiologist Andrea McCollum told Fortune magazine that she isn’t particularly concerned about the outbreaks, but there is potential for additional U.S. cases. Dr. Hans Kluge, a WHO regional health director for Europe, says it is likely that “mass gatherings, festivals, and parties” over the summer could accelerate transmission, according to The Guardian.
Last week, after the first two cases were identified, the U.S. ordered 13 million additional doses of monkeypox vaccine from biotech company Bavarian Nordic. That sure sounds like somebody is concerned.
The good news is that if you are vaccinated against smallpox, you are protected against monkeypox. The disease, which causes fever, muscle aches, and lesions, is usually mild for most people. In poorer nations such as the Congo, up to 10 percent of cases may be fatal.
The virus doesn’t spread easily. It is believed to be transmitted from prolonged exposure to respiratory droplets or skin-to-skin contact. However, the CDC says airborne precautions for medical providers are being recommended out of an abundance of caution.
If we see more cases confirmed here, don’t be surprised if you see mask mandates come back for all of us out of that “abundance of caution.”
— Robin Beres, editor
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