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We must contain monkeypox before it becomes a broader threat

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Most Americans do not have to worry about contracting monkeypox right now. But we cannot discount the possibility that it becomes a broader threat. That’s why the World Health Organization was right to declare the disease a global health emergency and why containing it must be a top priority for the Biden administration.

Monkeypox is very different from the coronavirus. Unlike the coronavirus, which is an extremely contagious respiratory pathogen, monkeypox is primarily transmitted through prolonged skin-to-skin contact. You are highly unlikely to contract monkeypox by dining in the same restaurant or working in the same office as an infected person; transmission occurs through intimate contact such as hugging, kissing and sexual intercourse. Bed linens and towels used by someone with active lesions can also harbor the virus, making household members vulnerable to infection.

The nature of transmission means that monkeypox won’t spread like wildfire the way that covid-19 has. We also have a vaccine that works against monkeypox after someone has been exposed, which is not the case for the coronavirus. If you’ve been exposed to covid-19, there’s nothing you can do other than wait to test positive. But if you’re exposed to monkeypox, getting the........

© Washington Post

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