I'm writing this to say don't worry about monkeypox. Seriously, I know the news and internet is all over it, and even President Biden has said we should be "concerned" about monkeypox, but I am more interested in your mental health. One more think to add to the anxiety list (especially after the horrific gun violence we face in the United States) is one more thing too many. The best way to manage concern is information. But not worry. Monkeypox is not going to be the next big thing.
First of all, unlike the novel Covid-19 virus, monkeypox is not new. It is a close relative of smallpox and the vaccines used for smallpox (which have been stockpiled since its eradication) are effective. In 2003 the US saw about a dozen cases of monkeypox that were thought to be from prairie dogs. As of May 26, 2022, officials have confirmed 344 monkeypox cases in 22 countries. Many of these cases are connected to a sauna in Spain, festivals in Antwerp and a rave festival in the Canary Islands. There have been no deaths reported.
Monkeypox is spread from close contact with the skin or fluid of an infected person. Unless the virus mutates or drastically changes, airborne transmission is not happening. The incubation period is 5-21 days and it is rarely fatal (1%-10%). Most fatalities have occurred in people with HIV. Monkeypox patients develop rash, fever, and swollen lymph nodes and a PCR test of the skin lesions confirms the diagnosis.
Now that health professionals are on the lookout for monkeypox and countries are reporting, it is likely the cases will rise. If we quickly identify cases and inform close contacts, the virus can be contained and it will fizzle out.
Honestly, your chances of getting shot are much higher than your chance of contracting monkeypox. Please use your vote to protect yourself and your community.