Recently, as you may have noticed, the World Health Organization has declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. Citing the confirmed 16,000 cases worldwide over the last several months, WHO officials made the rare move of listing the disease on its health emergencies list — with the likes of Ebola, bird flu, and COVID-19.
According to the WHO, the overwhelming majority of cases have been discovered through sexual health services and involve, almost exclusively, cases of men having sex with men. While it is certainly atypical for monkeypox to break free from endemic countries, even the CDC admits that almost nobody is dying from it.
What's more, according to a recent report in NPR, symptoms of the disease — which include fever, headaches, muscle aches, lack of energy and rashes — are subtler in many patients. "Some individuals developed only a single lesion that could be mistaken for a symptom of sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes or syphilis," NPR has reported.
While this may seem like good news, these extremely mild symptoms are why we should be worried, according to infectious disease doctor Donald Vinh at McGill University.
"I think that's actually supercritical, because you can see how these patients can be missed. But they are still contagious and may propagate the disease," he told NPR.
In other words, we need to be scared of asymptomatic spread. Sound familiar?
The fact is that monkeypox has been around for decades, is not airborne, it is not novel and we know how to respond to it, treat it, and prevent it.
Monkeypox is "not as highly transmissible as something like smallpox, or measles, or certainly not COVID," Anne Rimoin, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of California Los Angeles, toldVox.
While at-risk groups should certainly take precautions and steps to ensure they won't contract and spread the disease, the sheer hysteria with which the media is presenting it, is irresponsible and leads to unnecessary fear.
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What's more, the recent mania over monkeypox shows how "health experts" and the establishment media prioritize their resources and attention. Absent from the WHO's health emergency list is any mention of obesity.
Though the WHO and others recognize that obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, with at least 2.8 million people dying each year as a result of being overweight or obese, there is no massive campaign in the media or by health experts telling folks to lose weight.
Instead of advocating for folks to watch what they eat and get more exercise — which would have massively positive effects on the health of people — some health experts have adopted the message of body positivity, also known as "weight-neutral healthcare." Ignoring weight gain has since become mainstream despite the slew of health problems associated with it.
Imagine treating someone for heart disease and completely ignoring the fact that they weigh 450 lbs. This should come as no surprise, however, given the attention given to monkeypox by the so-called experts as it becomes taboo to talk about physical health.
No one here is fat shaming or ridiculing anyone for their lifestyle or for how much they weigh. This comparison is is important for pointing out the priorities of those in positions of authority when it comes to their claims that they care about your health.
It's not just obesity either. Right now in America, approximately 40 million Americans and 12 million children are food insecure, meaning they are often forced to skip meals and buy cheap non-nutritious food. Many families suffering from hunger and poverty live in areas where fresh, unprocessed healthy food is not available or is expensive. Where is the outcry?
This food insecurity is causing rampant malnutrition, obesity, and undernutrition in children at epidemic proportions and all the TV is talking about is "monkeypox." Worldwide, these numbers are even more shocking with 25,000 people, including 10,000 children every single day dying from a lack of nutrition.
If the establishment experts really cared about your health, then why was obesity and malnutrition swept under the rug during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Imagine, instead of telling people to stay inside and live sedentary lifestyles for months on end, that health authorities actually encouraged people to go outside, get some exercise and eat healthier options. In the US alone, thousands of lives could've been saved.
Instead, we were told that our only way out was taking a vaccine that would prove to become increasingly less effective over time — which did not prevent you from getting the disease, nor did it stop you from dying from it.
As we move forward into this new era of government recommendations on health and epidemics, the idea that serious epidemics which kill millions of people a year are ignored while sensationalized headlines fill the airwaves, society must do better than rely on these fearmongers for information. Their track record alone should give cause for concern and the fact that they are more concerned with monkeypox than they are with a food crisis among American children should tell you all you need to know.