Florida is under the grip of a surge in Covid cases in recent weeks. I've been reporting on this increase as Florida sees more Covid cases than any other point in the pandemic.
If you thought this was bad, then you may be concerned to hear the CDC is warning of another contagious virus in the state, Monkeypox.
For those who are unaware, Monkeypox is an infectious disease that is spread by the monkeypox virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pains, swollen lymph nodes, and feeling tired. This is followed by a rash that blisters and turns crusty. It's related to chickenpox and smallpox, which was eradicated over 40 years ago.
What's concerning about Monkeypox is that the average death rate is around 10%, which is significantly higher than Covid. Should the virus spread as rapidly as Covid, Florida could be in for some serious trouble over the coming months.
Here's what the CDC had to say about the outbreak:
“It’s believed the risk of spread of monkeypox on the plane and in the airports is low, as travelers were required to wear masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and monkeypox is primarily spread through respiratory droplets. People who have been vaccinated for smallpox in childhood may have some degree of immunity against Monkeypox. Currently, there is no proven, safe treatment for monkeypox virus infection. For purposes of controlling a monkeypox outbreak in the United States, smallpox vaccine, antivirals, and vaccinia immune globulin (VIG) can be used.”
This particular strain of Monkeypox is said to have entered America after a Texas man traveled from Lagos, Nigeria to Atlanta on an aeroplane, before landing in Dallas. Since then, the virus has spread across the country.
While the average death rate from Monkeypox is around 10%, this particular strain is thought to have a death rate of 1% according to the CDC.
With Florida suffering from Covid, the last thing the state needs is an outbreak of another infectious disease, especially one without an effective vaccine. Although it does appear those who've been vaccinated against smallpox will have some immunity from monkeypox.
What's the best thing to do to keep you safe from monkeypox? At the moment, wearing a mask would go a long way to reducing your risk and everyone's else's by reducing transmission. This also applies to Covid which is the main concern at the moment.
If you've ever wondered why surgeons wear masks, it's because they're effective at stopping the transmission of infectious diseases. If you're out and about in Florida in crowded spaces, especially indoors, please consider wearing a mask. Not only will it protect you it will protect those around you too.
Governor DeSantis may be against implementing a mask mandate, but they are an effective way to slow the spread of these diseases.
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