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Tags: monkeypox | epidemic | world health organization

Number of Monkeypox Cases at Odds with Public Health Anxiety

crusted monkeypox skin lesions over the arm of asian child
(Zay Nyi Nyi/Dreamstime.com)

Mark Schulte By Wednesday, 03 August 2022 01:36 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

The following article has been authored by a non-clinician and should not be interpreted in any way as the dispensing of medical advice.

Newsmax reported on July 29 that a survey from the Annenberg Public Policy Center found that 20% of American adults were "worried about contracting the monkeypox virus."

However, the demographics of the 5,811 monkeypox cases nationwide, identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of Aug. 1, belie this widespread public-health anxiety.

The CDC also reports that the median age of patients is 35, and the range is between 18 and 76. Since 258 million Americans are 18 years of age or older, there are a miniscule 2 cases per 100,000 in this cohort.

Of the 1,383 patients whose "sex assigned at birth" is known, 99% are male. Among male patients with "information on sexual activity," 624, or 99%, reported "male to male sexual contact."

Significantly, seven cities and three counties have a combined 3,556 cases, or 61% of the nation's total of 5,811.

The cities are: New York City, 1,512 cases; Chicago, 434; San Francisco, 310; District of Columbia, 243; Dallas, 129; Houston, 108; and Philadelphia, 82.

The counties are: Los Angeles, 400; and Florida's Broward, 225, and Miami-Dade, 113.

By contrast, 30 states, each of which has fewer than 40 cases, have a total of 341 patients, or 6% of the nation's 5,811 total.

As of Aug. 1, the New York State Department of Health reports 1,472 of the state's 1,573 cases, or 94%, are in New York City. (Total cases on the state's department of health website are 183 more than the total on the CDC's.)

The encouraging news about monkeypox in the Big Apple, the nation's most populous city, is that cases have fallen 36% — from 455 for the week ending July 23, to 293 cases for the week ending July 30. The city's first case was diagnosed on May 19.

Between July 29 and Aug. 1, the Democratic governors of three mega-populated states —  Kathy Hochul, Gavin Newsom and J.B. Pritzker,  — unnecessarily declared statewide monkeypox emergencies.

As with Hochul's New York, where 94% of cases are in the five NYC city counties of 62 statewide, in Newsom's California, five of 58 counties had 643 of 786 statewide cases, or 82%, as of July 28.

They are: Los Angeles, 261; San Francisco, 257; Alameda, 50; Santa Clara, 41; and Sacramento, 34.

Instead of proclaiming a statewide health emergency, the hapless Newsom should upgrade his department of health's monkeypox website.

Similarly, while Pritzker's Illinois had 533 cases as of Aug. 2, his department of health website inexcusably lacks counts for each of the state's 102 counties.

But the health department website for Chicago reports that, as of July 30, Chicago had an incompletely-tallied 434 cases. Thus, the Windy City has at least 83% of total cases in dysfunctional Illinois. 

As with America's monkeypox outbreak, which is localized in a small number of urban centers, the world's cases are overwhelmingly in 12 of 195 countries.

The monkeypox eruption may have originated from an international gathering held in the first half of May 2022 in Spain's Canary Islands.

Of the 23,620 worldwide monkeypox cases counted as of Aug. 1 by the CDC, 21,802, or 92%, are citizens of 12 western democracies.

The United States leads with 5,810; Spain, 4,298; Germany, 2,677; United Kingdom, 2,546; France, 1,955; and Brazil, 978.

Netherlands has 925 cases; Canada, 803; Portugal, 633; Italy, 479; Belgium, 393; and Peru, 305.

Despite the small number of cases, the WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, declared monkeypox an international health emergency on July 23.

But in a world with 8 billion people and 22,485 cases, the infection rate is an infinitesimal 3 per 1 million.

Moreover, 12 of the world's 14 most populous countries (excluding America and Brazil), have a combined 4.5 billion people, or 56% of humanity. They have a total of 200 monkeypox cases, or 1 per 22.5 million, according to the CDC as of Aug. 1.

They are: China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Russia, Mexico, Japan, Ethiopia, Philippines and Egypt.

Finally, Americans should stay informed and  use their own judgment in reviewing polls, and that includes polls on the subject of monkeypox. Dissecting monkeypox information, or information on other matters of health, should always be done calmly, and not with hysterics.  

Mark Schulte is a retired New York City schoolteacher and mathematician who has written extensively about science and the history of science. Read Mark Schulte's Reports — More Here.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Newsmax reported on July 29 that a survey from the Annenberg Public Policy Center found that 20% of American adults were "worried about contracting the monkeypox virus."
monkeypox, epidemic, world health organization
Wednesday, 03 August 2022 01:36 PM
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