Monkeypox: is America ready for its next pandmeic?

GLOBAL OUTBREAK: Monkeypox strikes 25 countries outside of Africa. The Guardian

Aaron Velez | News Editor

May 27, 2022

Ready for another pandemic? 

Of course we hope it won’t become widespread, but the truth is that we are facing another outbreak—Monkeypox—one that we definitely thought we were done with. The disease is typically found in small numbers in Africa, but to date, there is an outbreak in dozens of countries and over 200 confirmed cases. While this may not appear to be a major issue, the cautionary tale of Covid shows just how quickly and severely a virus can spread in the blink of an eye.

“We are literally just starting to recover from one pandemic,” junior Sydney Resser said. “It is absurd that we might have to prepare for another.”

However, there are some key differences between Covid and Monkeypox. Monkeypox is already somewhat treatable with the smallpox vaccine, minimizing its effect for thoroughly vaccinated individuals. Also, Monkeypox has been found to be less transmittable than Covid, being transmitted through sexual interactions and blood contact, rather than just airborne or skin contact. 

Still, there are some problems that explain why we must take this disease seriously. While Covid’s death rate hovers around 3%, Monkeypox indiscriminately kills almost 10%. The rates for severe and fatal Covid increase proportionally with age, while Monkeypox has a similar death rate for all age ranges. The symptoms of Monkeypox are also a lot more physical, with nasty blisters and boils that present themselves within a few days after contracting the virus.

MONKEYPOX: Even mild cases present with skin lesions and blisters. CIDRAP

“I just worry about it making its way into our school,” junior Amanda Cabagbag said. “It doesn’t pose a threat until it comes in proximity, just like Covid.”

The CDC has reserved extra vaccines for those with conditions that put them at high risk, but the extent of this pandemic is yet to be determined. The summer season is historically a breeding ground for viruses, so it is prudent to take extra care, especially for those traveling to other countries. Overall, the unfortunate truth of our world is that having one pandemic that halts our world doesn’t prevent other devastating diseases from springing up. We must use the protective skills we learned throughout Covid to minimize the spread of other viruses and not be doomed to repeat the past two years.

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