Monkeypox: On the Rise?

These diseases are making me go bananas!

   The first known human case of monkeypox dates back to 1970 in a 9-month-old boy in the Congo. Symptoms include fever, swollen lymph nodes, bumps, and exhaustion. The virus spreads person-to-person through close contact, or can also be transmitted from an infected animal. 

   Typically, cases were limited to Africa, but have now spread worldwide, with almost 20,000 cases in the U.S. alone. Virologists attribute this recent surge to small mutations that the monkeypox virus may have undergone that make its spread from person-to-person easier. 

  What has the response been? In the U.S., the Biden administration is taking a risk by using a little-studied vaccine, Jynneos, in hopes of effectively halting the spread of the virus. A $20 million contract was also announced to expand vaccine distribution. 

   Although experts believe that the outbreak cannot be fully reversed, tactics like contact tracing, outreach campaigns, and expanded funding can combat the virus. Will monkeypox be contained? Only time will tell.