Wednesday, May 18, 2022


This seems like the last thing we need:
A Massachusetts resident has tested positive for monkeypox, health officials confirmed Wednesday, making it the first case of the rare virus detected in the United States this year.

According to a release from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the patient is an adult male who recently traveled to Canada....

It comes after four more cases of monkeypox were identified in the U.K recently, bringing the nationwide total to nine since the beginning of May.
The pox got its name because it was first discovered in colonies of monkeys who were being kept for research. However, experts say it's spread primarily by rodents. There is person-to-person transmission, but it has never spread efficiently among people -- it's not COVID.
Up until this current outbreak, a person sick with monkeypox spreads the virus to between zero and one person, on average. So all previous outbreaks (up until now) burned themselves out quickly.

"You have primary cases, in which people get monkeypox from an animal, and they may transmit the disease a few generations — but then that's it," she says. "The outbreaks tend to be self-limiting."

"There is no evidence, to date, that person-to-person transmission alone can sustain monkeypox infections in the human population," the World Health Organization wrote in 2019.
On the other hand:
Scientists don't know yet if the rate of transmission has increased in this current outbreak. That enhanced transmission is one reason why the current outbreak appears to have spread through the community in three cities.
When outbreaks have occurred, they've mostly been in West and Central Africa, although there was a small outbreak in America in 2003.

But we had a Republican president then, so no one used the disease to score political points, the way Republicans used a handful of cases of Ebola to attack President Obama and Democrats just before the 2014 midterms.
In early October [2014], the GOP developed a plan to make the federal government's response to Ebola a central part of its midterm elections strategy. Television media played into Republicans' hands, helping to foment panic about the disease. Following the diagnosis of a handful of U.S. Ebola patients, the major broadcast networks ran nearly 1,000 segments about the virus in the four weeks leading up to the elections. Coverage of the disease plummeted in the two weeks following Election Day, with the same networks running fewer than 50 total segments.
Of course, Ebola was almost universally lethal, while monkeypox appears to have a case fatality rate of approximately 10%. But that still means it's frightening -- and our worst outbreak is associated with a country where non-whites live.
In 2003, 47 confirmed and probable cases were reported in six U.S. states, the first human cases reported outside of Africa.

All the infections occurred after coming into contact with pet prairie dogs, which in turn became infected "after being housed near imported small mammals from Ghana," the CDC stated.
The most popular host on the most influential news organization in America regularly accuses non-white foreigners of spreading dirt in America. On Tucker Carlson's TV show in 2018, he said that admitting immigrants to America "makes our country poorer and dirtier and more divided." He told The Atlantic in 2019 that the Potomac River "has gotten dirtier and dirtier and dirtier and dirtier. I go down there and that litter is left almost exclusively by immigrants." Meanwhile, his colleagues regularly describe immigrants as spreaders of disease.

So if America has an outbreak, the response will be xenophobic. But wait, it gets worse.
... Britain’s Health Security Agency ... said recent cases had been seen “predominantly in gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men,” although it noted it was unclear how exactly people had been infected.

Monkeypox has not previously been documented to have spread through sex, but can be transmitted through close contact with infected people, their clothing or bedsheets.

Earlier this week the UK agency reported four cases of monkeypox they said had been spread among gay and bisexual men in London....

Health authorities in Spain’s central Madrid region said late on Wednesday that they were assessing 23 possible cases of monkeypox. They noted that all of the suspected cases are young men and that the majority of them had sex with other men.
If there's an outbreak here and it resembles the ones in Europe in any way, it will be blamed on the Biden administration, on liberalism, and on gay men and foreigners. It doesn't have to be widespread -- eleven Ebola cases in the U.S. in 2014 led to a thousand TV news segments. This could get ugly.

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