Monkeypox Now a Public Health Emergency. Should I Be Worried?
It happened this past Thursday. President Joe Biden declared Monkeypox a public health emergency in the United States. So, the question is, do you need to be worried here in Michigan?
Well, at least 66 cases of the disease have been reported throughout the state, and that is almost double the number of cases compared to last week, so we should be paying attention.
Fox17 has reported that there are only around 6,600 cases across the U.S., but it's been growing and that's worrisome to officials. By declaring a health emergency, the President has freed up money so that testing supplies and vaccines can be produced and used throughout the country.
It is easy for us to become complacent about Monkeypox because we continue to deal with COVID. Also, currently, it seems to be spreading between people who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. But hold on there because it really can be spread by anyone infected by skin-to-skin contact, high fives, kissing, hugging, playing sports, etc.
What is Monkeypox? CNN reports that Monkeypox is a pox virus, related to smallpox and cowpox. It generally causes pimple- or blister-like lesions and flu-like symptoms such as fever, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What about the vaccine? Right now, here in Michigan we have 7,600 doses of the vaccine but are expected to receive a total of 14,500 doses.
The vaccine is already being distributed across that state, but only for people considered to be at risk.
Here is something reassuring. A NY Times.com article says:
"Most children and adults with healthy immune systems are likely to dodge severe illness. And many older adults, born before 1972 when they ended Smallpox vaccinations, are at least somewhat protected by the decades-old vaccine. The bottom line is that even those that were vaccinated many decades before maintain a very, very high level of antibodies and the ability to neutralize the virus, said Dr. Luigi Ferrucci, scientific director of the National Institute on Aging. Even if they were vaccinated 50 years ago, that protection should still be there,”