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A microscopic view of the monkeypox virus.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

A microscopic view of the monkeypox virus.

Should You be Concerned About Monkeypox?

September 21, 2022

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Considering all the news about the COVID-19 pandemic the last few years, many Americans may be concerned to hear about any new disease with the potential to become a pandemic. One such disease is commonly known as “monkeypox.” So should you be worried?

“Monkeypox is really scary because I don’t know a lot about it and it seems like other people don’t know a lot about it either. I feel like if I got it, nobody would know what to do,” said FCHS senior Jackson Garnett.

So what is Monkeypox? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe.” With the eradication of smallpox in 1980 and the end of smallpox vaccination, “Monkeypox has emerged as the most important orthopoxvirus for public health,” notes the WHO.

In layman’s terms, monkeypox is an infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus which can cause rash and flu like symptoms. It is currently spreading globally and in the United States.

To some, such descriptions can sound frightening. But according to one CBS News report, “[Monkeypox] is not Covid. It’s not an easy virus to catch. It takes a lot of skin to skin contact to catch it.” Moreover, to date, there has only been a single case of someone dying of monkeypox in the United States, so it is not deadly at all compared to disease like COVID-19, which is currently killing up to 800 Americans a month, and was killing 3,600 Americans a month in the early months of the pandemic.

If you are worried that schools will shut down because of monkeypox, like they did with COVID-19, know that that it is extremely likely. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “The risk of getting monkeypox at school or in a different early childhood setting is low.”

The CDC says schools should take some of the same precautions they have with COVID-19. According to ChalkBeat, “That includes routinely cleaning and disinfecting classrooms, asking students and staff to regularly wash their hands, and providing personal protective equipment to staff who care for sick students.”

Will monkeypox grow or subside in the United States? According to one ABC News contributor, Dr. John Brownstein, “Elimination [of monkeypox] is going to become more challenging.” However, for the average high school student, it should not be a major concern. Overall, says senior Jayden Baroch, “I believe monkeypox isn’t as bad as some people think it is. People just believe everything they hear.”

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About the Contributor
Photo of Branden Jackson
Branden Jackson, Journalist

Branden is in 12th grade, this is his first year in Journalism. In his free time, he likes to ride four wheelers and watch sports. His favorite TV show...

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