Smallpox is received today with an expression of questioning, but for centuries it has been synonymous with death and horror. It’s back now, but not quite. Let’s understand what monkeypox is, and what are the symptoms, treatments, and real risks of this disease that has made headlines.
It has been known since ancient times that smallpox in the twentieth century alone killed 300 million people. Whom he did not kill, he left them disfigured and riddled with sequelae, including blindness. With a 30% mortality rate, it was the subject of desperate solutions, including a vaccination in which healthy people inhaled husks from the dry wounds of smallpox patients.
This provoked a milder infection, which conferred immunity. Yes, it is one of the principles of vaccines, but only in 1796 Edward Jenner applied the acquired concepts, and with the leakage of the smallpox virus, he invented the first vaccine, which is several times safer than vaccination, which had a higher mortality rate. to 2%.
Thanks to science and global efforts, smallpox became the first disease to be eradicated in 1977. No one else will have to suffer the terrible effects of this cursed virus.
So what do you mean the return of smallpox?
calm. Smallpox is no longer found in the world, except for well-guarded specimens in laboratories in Russia and the USA. What is there are similar diseases caused by viruses of the same family, but much less … malignant.
The so-called monkeypox is one of them. Its symptoms are the same as those of chickenpox: fever, malaise, muscle aches, back pain, swollen glands, extreme tiredness and skin lesions, in the form of blisters with a highly contagious yellow fluid.
The mortality rate for monkeypox theoretically is about 11%, but this was measured in the Congo, during the epidemic of 1970. Most likely, the mortality rate without smallpox was also about 11%.
New statistics even in Africa show that the death rate is less than 3%, and with treatment this drops dramatically.
Where does monkeypox come from?
The poor monkeys were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The disease got its name when it was identified in 1958 among African monkeys used in a laboratory in Denmark, but they are transient carriers, and the main carriers of the disease are rodents, so much so that in 2003 an epidemic in the United States affected 71 people, it was traced back. to prairie dogs. Imported goods sold at exotic pet store.
Infection can be through bites, contact with body fluids, or consumption of undercooked meat.
The current issues are the first for how long?
It is not even possible to set a date, every year there are cases of monkeypox, some isolated, others small epidemics with a few dozen infected people. It’s just another one of those diseases we’ve learned to live with. The difference is that after the shock of COVID, we became more attentive to this kind of news, and this time Monkeypox left Africa.
As of 5/26/2022, there are 332 confirmed cases. Patient Zero was a British man who had returned from Nigeria with the infection, and he carried on with his duties without realizing he was sick, until symptoms appeared, which takes up to 15 days.
The man remained in close and personal contact with another person, some members of that chain went on delirium in Spain, and there are few better places for a deep exchange of bodily fluids than delirium. From there the disease spread throughout the world. There are cases so far in 24 countries.
Will we all die of monkeypox?
hardly. Of course it’s dangerous for young children and immunocompromised people, but it’s generally not contagious enough and science has many cards up its sleeve, including Chloroqu-AH, it’s got you. No, he does not treat smallpox with an antimalarial drug, he treats it with Tecovirimat, an advanced antiviral drug, recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and created specifically to kill, exterminate, and exterminate viruses from the Poxviridae family.
That is: treats all types of smallpox and other similar diseases.
How long until they develop a monkeypox vaccine?
Good news, little grasshopper. It would take scientists -226 years to develop a vaccine. That’s right, even Jenner’s cowpox vaccine is actually effective against monkeypox.
This family consists of DNA viruses, with a low mutation rate and is more than known and understood by science. There are many smallpox vaccines that work very well, with an efficacy of over 95%, ie: you have a 95% chance of being exposed to the virus and not having symptoms, and if you fall into the remaining 5%, you will have a mild case.
The catch is that no one has the vaccines anymore. The United States has a strategic stockpile and applies vaccines to military personnel in the event that smallpox is used as a biological weapon. Worst Korea has a stockpile of 35 million doses to use in the event of an attack, but only one company produces new ones.
Fortunately, it is a very simple production, without the need for complicated inputs, all you need are the animals to be vaccinated with the virus, in this case the vaccine (very similar to smallpox, but another disease, from the same family). Animal blood is collected (not all, bulls cannot be disposed of) the plasma is separated and we have the vaccine base.
All of this is routine, including identifying cases of vaccine, and cross-species contamination is so common with people who handle livestock daily, that in 2004 we had a small epidemic in São Paulo.
How to prevent monkeypox?
First of all, monkeys do not eat or feed on them. Avoid unnecessary contact with the bodily fluids of others, especially from people who have recently come from abroad. Don’t accept invitations to Surubão de Noronha, and… well, that’s basically it. Same rules to avoid the flu, it’s much quieter than COVID.
Will there be a national vaccination campaign?
Mostly not. Everyone is already infected with COVID, the new world order is already controlling all our steps, we will only have a vaccine against the Monkeypox if the gray aliens decide to counterattack the Illuminati by injecting us with an antidote, and yes, you guessed why did I take my meds today?
If there was a vaccination, it would be regional, tailored to areas where monkeypox has outbreaks, and its contagion model doesn’t justify a global campaign like COVID-19.
So it is 100% seamless?
no. As always, the most vulnerable people and populations are at risk. All of these cases without any deaths were in developed countries. According to the World Health Organization, in countries where monkeypox is endemic (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo) between 12/15/2021 and 5/1/2022 we had 1269 cases, with 65 deaths.
Obviously, in countries with electricity and running water, the trend is even with the spread of the epidemic, the number of deaths is much lower, but even one death is too many. The trick then is to follow health authorities, observe recommendations, and ban anyone who comes up with conspiracy theories from WhatsApp.
Can we escape from this?
You know that scene in Star Trek IV, when 20th century Dr. McCoy finds a patient on dialysis, gives her pills, and minutes later her kidneys are 100% working? This is our relationship with smallpox. All of them. We have highly effective vaccines, great medicines and equipment and specialists who are able to treat the most severe cases with distinction.
Will there be deaths? Yes, unfortunately, among the poorest and most vulnerable population. The sad truth can be summed up in the words of William Gibson:
“The future has already arrived, it is not evenly distributed.”