Monkeypox: Lessons from the pandemic will help, say experts

dr Karen Mossman is a virologist and professor of pathology and molecular medicine at McMaster University. One aspect of a potential outbreak of monkeypox, also known as monkeypox, she says, is applying the lessons we’ve learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We hope that the COVID-19 pandemic will normalize, for example, wearing masks, new working methods and better ventilation systems. »

A quote from dr Karen Mossman, virologist and professor of pathology and molecular medicine at McMaster University

Many practices introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic will help curb monkeypox infectionshe wrote in an email to CBC.

dr Mossman warns that concerns about the rise in monkeypox cases are justified.

In addition to Ontario’s 9 confirmed cases of the virus, at least 23 cases were under investigation in Toronto as of June 9.

dr Karen Mossman is a virologist and professor of pathology and molecular medicine at McMaster University.

Photo: Karen Mossman

Although the smallpox vaccine is believed to offer protection, vaccination against smallpox ended around 1970, when the virus was effectively eradicated, she says. Vaccinated individuals are therefore likely to have limited residual immunity.

Fortunately, the virologist explains that monkeypox does not spread as quickly as SARS-CoV-2 and does not mutate as quickly as corona viruses.

Monkeypox is transmitted through bites or scratches from an infected animal or through direct contact with wounds or bodily fluids from infected people. For example, we can think of sexual intercoursesays dr Mossman.

Doctors need to communicate better with the public

The professor of pathology and molecular medicine also sees lessons from the pandemic for communication between doctors and the population.

There has to be a balance between transparency and awareness. The public has the right to be informed about circulating viruses that have the potential to start a new epidemicshe notices.

Information about new viruses often changes over time. This is what happened with COVID-19. Experts have made assumptions about our past experiences. »

A quote from dr Karen Mossman, virologist and professor of pathology and molecular medicine at McMaster University

according to dr Mossman can complicate communicating with the public about new viruses because information changes as experts collect data.

Regardless, the virologist believes that the general public needs more information to assess the risks of an epidemic.

By telling the public to trust us because we’re doctors, we’re not really doing our job, which is to explain decisions or make recommendations about new viruses.She says.

A virus other than the coronavirus

According to Niagara Region Assistant Health Officer Dr. Azim Kasmani, a pandemic is unlikely to be due to the current monkeypox outbreak.

From what we know about monkeypox, it is unlikely to have the same global impact as COVID-19he observes.

They are different viruses with different ways of spreading and different health effects. »

A quote from dr Azim Kasmani, Assistant Medical Officer of the Niagara Region

For now, Dr. Kasmani recommends avoiding close contact with people who may be infected with monkeypox.

And like dr. Karen Mossman believes Dr. Kasmani said that while people should be wary of this virus, we are now better prepared for outbreaks thanks to the experience with COVID-19.

With information from CBC

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