As I wrote about May, the mysterious Monkeypox virus, with its origins in west and central Africa and recently spread via sexual contact in gay fetish clubs and festivals in various European cities, is spreading globally.
And now President Biden is preparing to declare it a ‘national emergency’ here in the United States.
This, despite being primarily non-deadly and limited to highly sexually active gay men, and all health organizations stating it poses a shallow risk to the general population.
Politico reports that “In the U.S., nearly 3,600 cases have been reported. New York City remains the epicenter of the outbreak, with most cases occurring among men who have sex with men.”
Still, some argue this needs to be a ‘national emergency.’
“I do think it deserves to be one,” said Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. “We’re having a lot of challenges around the country with their rate of rise in terms of new cases. It isn’t an emergency posing a … high threat to the general population. But it’s still moving … and has the potential to spread to additional vulnerable communities.”
While generally not deadly, the disease isn’t pretty.
CNBC reports that: “Monkeypox usually begins with symptoms similar to the flu including fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes. It then progresses to body rashes on the face, hands, feet, eyes, mouth or genitals that turn into raised bumps which then become blisters.”
Politico reports that Team Biden is expected to declare the disease a public health emergency in the coming days. Politico explains:
The declaration, which is made by the Department of Health and Human Services, would follow a similar decision made last weekend by the World Health Organization. By designating the outbreak an emergency, HHS could then take a slew of actions, including accessing new money and appointing new personnel, according to the law that dictates how and when the federal government can declare such an emergency.
A reminder of how this most recent epidemic began:
According to the Telegraph:
Enrique Ruiz Escudero, the region’s cabinet minister for health of the community, said on Friday that health officials had traced many of Spain’s 30 monkeypox cases to a single sauna [gay bathhouse] in the capital…
A “notable proportion” of the UK and European cases are in gay and bisexual men, health officials have said.
Three cases in Belgium have also been linked to a large-scale fetish festival in Antwerp, according to organisers. The Darklands Festival[warning: link takes you to festival promotional video, which is NSFW] warned people who attended four days of parties, starting on May 5, that authorities had linked the event to the country’s three confirmed cases.
The Telegraph continues:
Darklands is a ticketed event that describes itself as a place where “various tribes in the gay fetish community (leather, rubber, army, skinhead, puppies…) come together to create a unique spectacle of fetish brotherhood”.
Sources have told The Telegraph that an internationally advertised gay party in Spain is also being investigated as the root cause of the global monkeypox cases. ADN