Apoorva Mandavilli, NYT: On Monkeypox - "We Shouldn't Be Alarmed, but We Should Be Concerned."

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Apoorva Mandavilli, a science and global health reporter at The New York Times, joins J. Stephen Morrison and H. Andrew Schwartz for this 141st episode. Apoorva unpacks the sudden spread of Monkeypox into Europe and now the United States, outside African states where it is endemic, and the challenges this poses to Americans and Europeans weary of Covid-19, as well as to Africans who fear gross inequities in access to vaccines and therapies, which are presently quite limited in supply.

Containment of rising numbers of cases will be through ring vaccination of close contacts, which is doable but requires effective communication which up to now has been wanting. Much transmission is through men having sex with men, which raises the complex specter of stigmatization and politicization. The virus, far less severe and transmissible than smallpox, is nonetheless dangerous for infants, pregnant women, persons living with HIV and others who are immunocompromised. Case counts in Europe top 1,000 (very low numbers thus far in the United States) and are often difficult to confirm because of the resemblance to chickenpox or other rashes. Cases in the United States are projected to rise steeply and be seen in every state over the coming weeks and months.