Three monkeypox fake news stories debunked

Disease ‘Vaccine Caused’, ‘Bill Gates Stoked’: The recent emergence of monkeypox cases outside of Africa is already fueling much misinformation, rumor and conspiratorial insinuations on the internet largely modeled after what has been circulating around COVID since 2020.

• Also read: 780 cases in non-endemic countries, according to WHO

• Also read: 77 cases in Canada, “concerning” situation in Quebec

• Also read: In contact with a monkeypox patient, a Montrealer shares his experiences

Monkeypox and the AstraZeneca vaccine

“Smallpox is one of the side effects of AstraZeneca,” say internet users who have a particularly widespread infox worldwide. As “proof” they argue that a “chimpanzee adenovirus” was used to make the COVID-19 vaccine.

But experts interviewed by AFP explain that it is completely “unfounded” and that the two pathogens are unrelated, they belong to different families of viruses (poxvirus for monkeypox and adenovirus for the COVID vaccine).

It is “not possible for this adenovirus to turn into the virus responsible for monkeypox,” explains Teresa Lambe, professor of immunology at the University of Oxford.

The adenovirus is used in the vaccine as a vector, ie as a simple vehicle to carry the genetic instructions to the vaccinated person’s cells, which can then generate their immune response against COVID.

And like other so-called “viral vector” vaccines, the adenovirus has been modified so it doesn’t contaminate the vaccinee’s body, they add.

After all, monkeypox owes its name to the fact that it was first discovered in macaques in 1958, but it’s not specific to that species, INSERM notes. It is also found in rodents, for example.

Monkeypox ‘stoked’ by ‘elites’

In 2021, NTI, an American organization specializing in the prevention of nuclear and bacteriological risks, organized a simulation of a monkeypox epidemic. The date chosen for this fictional scenario? May 2022.

This coincidence is widely used to confirm or suggest that the proliferation of “monkeypox” cases was orchestrated.

Since the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is one of NTI’s many donors, the American billionaire, who has been the target of numerous conspiracy theories for years, has also been accused of being behind this new health warning.

“For the purposes of the exercise, we wanted to select a pathogen that was plausible in our scenario, and we chose monkeypox from several options offered by our experts,” explained NTI, who notes that “the risks presented by monkeypox are good have been documented by many health authorities for years”.

“What should be remembered (from the 2021 simulation, ed.) is not the specific (selected) pathogen in our fictional scenario, (but) the fact that the world is completely unprepared for new future pandemics and we must act urgently to remedy this weakness,” the organization adds.

A similar rumor about COVID circulated in 2020 based on a simulated coronavirus outbreak in 2019.

Doxycycline, a new pseudo-cure

Many publications claim that doxycycline, an antibiotic that “cures monkeypox in two days,” has been banned by order of the Ministry of Health.

This is incorrect: the official text does not state this, it allows the authorization of vaccination – in certain specific cases – of people exposed to the monkeypox virus and makes no mention of doxycycline.

In addition, as several experts have explained to AFP, doxycycline is not considered a treatment for this disease, if only because it is an antibiotic used to fight bacteria and not viruses.

On the other hand, if necessary, antiviral drugs (such as tecovirimat) can be used against monkeypox, doctors and health authorities remind.

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