First American case of Monkeypox in 2022 identified in Massachusetts
Just when it was starting to feel like we were finally getting over, or at the very least used to Covid, another disease has stepped up to make you feel uneasy every time someone coughs in a public place. The first US case of Monkeypox in 2022 has been identified in the state of Massachusetts.
The always reliable U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, knowns as the CDC said its labs confirmed the infection to be monkeypox on Wednesday afternoon. They are now working with local health officials to carry out contact tracing, adding that as of now, “the case poses no risk to the public, and the individual is hospitalized and in good condition.” via Reuters
Monkeypox has been around for a while. According to the CDC website it was first discovered in humans in the 1970’s. There have even been cases in the US before, so there’s no real reason to panic just yet.
However, there are a few things that we should be aware of in case things take a turn for the worse.
Monkeypox cases are on the rise in Europe
There has been a recent spike in cases in Europe and Canada. Over the past two weeks there have been dozens of cases reported, and multiple clusters identified. It’s starting to feel like something is bubbling just under the surface here.
Another disconcerting thing is on the CDC website is the mortality rate of Monkeypox. The illness typically lasts for 2−4 weeks. In Africa, monkeypox has been shown to cause death in as many as 1 in 10 persons who contract the disease.
You’re probably wondering why there’s no reason for concern if there is such a high mortality rate and trust me, I am too. I can’t help but think about the truckload of monkeys that got loose in Danville, Pennsylvania a few months back as well. The woman who got bit by one of those monkeys got severely ill afterwards and just like that, we may have already identified patient zero.
Given our recent history with pandemics in this country, I think it’s alright to get a little bit skittish here. I won’t be though. I can no longer live in fear. At this point, any new type of viruses that come along, I’m ready to just catch them and either survive or die. Hang in there folks, don’t fear the reaper.
Mandatory credit: tontantravel via Flickr