Will monkeypox become an ‘established STD’? Why one infectious disease expert thinks so

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The Nigerian doctor who treated the monkeypox outbreak in Nigeria in 2017 told Fox News in an interview that the virus is now “showing all the signs of becoming an established STD” as more US cases emerge and the Biden administration aggravates the outbreak. public health disease. emergency.

Infectious disease doctor Dr. Dimie Ogoina treated Nigeria’s first case of monkey pox in nearly 40 years. That year 2017, an 11-year-old boy came to him with a chickenpox-like rash.

The doctor said he had “never seen a case of monkey pox in my life – I [had] only seen pictures,” Ogoina told Fox News.

MONKEYPOX VACCINE AUTHORIZATION EXTENDED BY FDA TO INCREASE DOSE

Doctors discovered the first documented human monkeypox cases in the 1970s in children from Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Before that, in 1958, scientists discovered the first cases in monkeys at an animal shelter in Copenhagen, Denmark, giving the disease the name “monkey pox.”

But in 2017, Dr Ogoina — a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at Niger Delta University in Nigeria — noted that the 11-year-old boy had no contact with animals. The virus spread among his family, first infecting his uncle and then spreading to his mother, father and younger brother.

A registered nurse prepares a dose of a monkey pox vaccine at the Salt Lake County Health Department on July 28, 2022 in Salt Lake City. On August 9, 2022, U.S. health officials approved a new monkeypox vaccination strategy designed to stretch limited supplies by allowing health professionals to vaccinate up to five people — instead of one — with each vial.
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

After sending samples of the boy’s lesions to a lab in Senegal, Dr. Ogoina’s suspicions: The boy had contracted the first case of monkey pox in Nigeria in 38 years.

The outbreak in 2017 grew to 200 confirmed cases in Nigeria. Since then, the monkeypox virus has gone from a rare disease to an endemic status in Africa – with cases spreading mainly among young, gay and bisexual men.

While the virus is not endemic in the US, Dr. Ogoina told Fox News that he believes it is showing signs of becoming an “established STD” — meaning it is spreading among the American population like other diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea or HIV.

The CDC told Fox News that although the virus is sexually transmitted, it has not yet achieved sexually transmitted infection (STD) status.

In 2021, the US confirmed two cases of monkeypox from travelers from Nigeria.

The CDC cited efforts to track down contracts and “strong collaboration between CDC, state and local health departments, airlines and airport partners” as reasons for containing the spread.

A man is shown in the "isolation ward" for monkey pox cases at a clinic in India.

A man is shown in the “isolation ward” for monkey pox cases at a clinic in India.

Now, less than a year later, monkey pox cases are on the rise.

As of Thursday afternoon, August 18, 2022, there are 14,115 confirmed cases of monkeypox (orthopox virus) in the US, according to the CDC.

In response to a question, the CDC told Fox News that although the virus is sexually transmitted, it has not yet achieved sexually transmitted infection (STD) status.

“It shows us that the virus is evolving and adapting more to the human host,” said Dr. Dimie Ogoina.

“[The] The current outbreak has raised questions about whether monkeypox is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Monkeypox can be more accurately described as ‘sexually transmitted’. In other words, sex is one of the ways monkeypox can spread, but not the only way,” the agency said.

“During the current monkeypox outbreak,” it added, “the virus spreads primarily through close contact with someone who has monkeypox. This includes contact with monkeypox ulcers or respiratory secretions through close, sustained skin-to-skin contact that occurs during sex. “

Health workers at the Anna International Airport terminal in Chennai, India, screen passengers for monkey pox symptoms, taken on June 3, 2022.

Health workers at the Anna International Airport terminal in Chennai, India, screen passengers for monkey pox symptoms, taken on June 3, 2022.
(ARUN SANKAR/AFP via Getty Images)

With cases rising, states have made efforts to distribute vaccines and ramp up testing efforts as HHS expands monkeypox vaccine to more than 1.1 million doses.

The Biden administration wants to lower the doses, making the vaccine one-fifth more potent.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET MONKEYPOX: SYMPTIONS, VACCINATIONS AND TREATMENTS

On August 9, 2022, the White House released the following statement in part.

“The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced a Section 564 statement, allowing the FDA to use its authority to allow healthcare providers to administer up to five times the number of vaccine doses per vial of JYNNEOS vaccine.”

It continued: “Following last week’s public health emergency declaration, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra today issued a provision under the Section 564 declaration of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act requiring emergency vaccine use. to prevent monkeypox and prevent serious diseases. This action paves the way for the federal government to get up to five times the amount of administered doses from a single vial of JYNNEOS vaccine.”

“The best way to contain this risk is not through vaccination,” says Dr. Robert Malone. “It’s through contact tracing, abstinence and isolation until these people are no longer contagious.”

It continued: “The EUA now allows 0.1ml of the JYNNEOS vaccine to be administered between the skin layers (intradermally), as opposed to 0.5ml of the vaccine administered under the skin (subcutaneously).”

Vaccine distribution is a factor in stopping the monkeypox outbreak. Other experts point to other measures.

dr. Robert Malone, co-inventor of the mRNA vaccine, told Fox News that, in his view, vaccination should not be the first line of defense.

“The best way to contain this risk is not through vaccination,” says Malone. “It’s through contact tracing, abstinence and isolation until these people are no longer contagious.”

Health professionals from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene help people register for the monkeypox vaccine at one of the city's vaccination sites, on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, in New York.

Health professionals from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene help people register for the monkeypox vaccine at one of the city’s vaccination sites, on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, in New York.
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

He also said: “We don’t even have a clue how effective this vaccine really is. It’s not designed for monkeypox…What’s being done now is very, very analogous to what happened early in the coronavirus crisis.”

Public health officials are also trying to combat the stigma surrounding the name of the disease and the population affected.

“Newly identified viruses, related diseases and virus variants should be given names to avoid offending cultural, social, national, regional, professional or ethnic groups…”

The WHO wants to rename monkeypox and releases a statement saying: “Current best practice is that newly identified viruses, related diseases and virus variants should be given names with the aim of preventing cultural, social, national, regional, professional or ethnic groups, and minimize any negative impact on trade, travel, tourism or animal welfare.”

WHO SHOULD RENAME MONKEYPOX TO PREVENT DISCRIMINATION AND STIGMATIZATION?

Regarding the spread of monkey pox, Dr. Malone also told Fox News, “It’s a very small global cohort … and it’s a sexually transmitted disease within that global cohort of people who often have very multiple sex partners.”

He also said: “In public health, I think we need to be very careful about situations where we limit our ability to communicate effectively with the people most at risk.”

Despite the increase in cases, American voters are not worried about monkey pox, according to Fox News polls. Fifty-four percent of registered voters polled between August 6 and 9 said they were not concerned about monkey pox.

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However, there is an urgency among the global community to contain the virus.

“It’s an infection that has spread so rapidly in less than two months in more than 50 countries and is still spreading,” said Dr. Ogoina.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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