RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Monkeypox is not easily transmitted from person to person, but in Great Britain, seven cases recently occurred within a very short period. Do we now have to prepare for the next “pandemic”?
British health authorities announced last Saturday that two more cases of the rare monkeypox virus infection had been diagnosed in England, unrelated to the case reported a week ago.
The U.K.’s UKHSA said the latest infections involved people living in the same household and investigating how they contracted the virus. However, these two new cases had no contact with the first case, which was confirmed on May 7. Authorities are now trying to determine how they may have contracted it.
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In the case confirmed on May 7, authorities believe the victim contracted the virus in Africa. The first case was found in a person who had flown to the United Kingdom from Nigeria. According to UKHSA, the patient received specialist care in an isolation ward at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital in London.
As reported by the Telegraph, seven cases have now been reported in England, six of them in London.
According to the newspaper, the virus can also be transmitted through sexual contact, so the health authorities are now calling on the homosexual and bisexual communities to be particularly careful and watch out for “unusual rashes”, especially in the genital area. It said that four of the seven cases were from this group of men.
While medical experts appease, more and more mainstream media start scaremongering about monkeypox. In the meantime, isolated cases have been recorded in the United Kingdom and other countries, which is not surprising given the increased attention to the disease.
In the U.S., the first case was detected on May 18 – the Biden administration promptly ordered millions of vaccine doses in response.
Medical experts say the danger of monkeypox to the general population is relatively low – for example, Norbert Brockmeyer, president of the German Society for Sexually Transmitted Infections.
He argues that the disease has been circulating unnoticed for a while. Because of the growing attention, evidence is now accumulating.
He said people who have sexual contact with many different people are most at risk. However, it is not a sexually transmitted disease; close physical contact could also be sufficient.
Healthy caution is therefore advisable. However, “There should be no hysteria. Monkeypox will be well controlled.”
BIDEN ADMINISTRATION ORDERS MILLIONS OF VACCINE DOSES
Meanwhile, the Biden administration wants no part of appeasement: They have already ordered millions of doses of vaccines to protect against smallpox and monkeypox. The trigger for this was published the first case in the USA on May 18 (in Massachusetts).
Denmark-based biotech company Bavarian Nordic announced the vaccine order the same day. Bavarian Nordic said that the vaccine has already been manufactured and invoiced under previous contracts with the U.S. government.
The vaccine has been approved in the U.S. under the name “JYNNEOS” since 2019. The contract covers US$119 million worth of Jynneos vaccines – to be manufactured and invoiced in 2023 and 2024.
People now want to convert the vaccine, which is a liquid, into a freeze-dried version in favor of longer shelf life.
Under the contract, the Biden administration also has the option to place another order worth US$180 million.
That could produce about 13 million freeze-dried doses of the Jynneos smallpox vaccine by 2024 and 2025.
According to the company, most of the liquid base of the vaccine has already been produced and invoiced for this purpose. So if the conversion should succeed quickly, the vaccination madness could soon begin.
ONE EU COUNTRY HAS ORDERED AS WELL
On May 19, the biotech company announced that a European country would also be supplied with the smallpox vaccine – which one was not disclosed.
Under the name “IMVANEX,” the vaccine is also approved in Europe for smallpox, and there would be the possibility of off-label use for monkeypox.
Bavaria Nordic President and CEO Paul Chaplin described the current monkeypox situation in Europe as “requires rapid and coordinated action by public health authorities,” adding magnanimously that his company “is happy to help in this emergency.”
Vaccination czar Bill Gates had called in November 2021 for people to prepare for a smallpox pandemic, among other things, as part of “Germ Games.”
At the time, he had raised this possibility due to a bioterrorist attack.
NORMALLY MILD DISEASE
Monkeypox resembles ordinary smallpox. However, the disease is usually not particularly dangerous in the case of human infection, and the prognosis is considered favorable. Even in the recently reported cases, the course was/is mild.
Those at risk are primarily immunocompromised persons and children; fatal courses have generally decreased significantly over the past decades (according to the RKI: 10% in the early 1980s, only about 2% in 1996/1997).
The average incubation period is between six and 13 days but can be as long as 21 days. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and fatigue.
It also causes a characteristic rash that often begins on the face and then spreads over the entire body, including the genitals, which can be itchy and painful, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Human-to-human transmission only occurs when there is close contact with symptomatically ill persons.
It is a zoonosis: host animals are primarily rodents. Human-to-human transmission is usually rare and occurs only in close contact with symptomatically ill individuals.
However, virologists fear, especially given the increasing number of cases in recent decades, that the more frequently monkeypox viruses have the opportunity to infect humans, the better they adapt to the human body.
Monkeypox makes headlines at pretty regular intervals – for example, in the United States in 2003, there were 47 cases spread across six states (Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin).
The United Kingdom also recorded two cases of monkeypox in September 2018; both individuals had entered from Nigeria. The cessation of smallpox vaccination and the waning of immunity could also be a factor.
Overall, authorities consider low the risk of monkeypox in the general population. The Robert Koch Institute is now sensitizing German doctors to the disease, but there is no reason to panic.
It could become more problematic if the virus mutates and becomes as easily transmissible as human smallpox, now considered eradicated. And, of course, the question arises whether these viruses are not also being experimented with in biological laboratories.