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At first glance, the short stories all seem a little too familiar.
A new viral epidemic is detected. It begins to spread all over the world, case by case, country by country. Health authorities are springing into action, monitoring infections and issuing advice.
After two torturous years, it’s understandable that the wave of monkeypox cases brings back bad memories of early 2020, when the world first became aware of Covid-19.
But health experts have been clear since the first cases emerged: while the public should be aware of the monkeypox outbreak, the two diseases are very different and there is not the same cause for concern. than two years ago.
“It’s not Covid,” Dr. Jennifer McQuiston, a veterinarian and deputy director of the CDC’s Division of Pathogens and High-Consequence Conditions, said in a statement last week.
US President Joe Biden has also sought to decouple the two illnesses in the public mind. “I just don’t think it reaches the level of the kind of concern that existed with Covid-19,” Biden told reporters on a recent trip to Tokyo. It was a stark departure from comments he made the day before when he said ‘everyone should be concerned’.
Of course, several leaders tried to placate citizens when Covid-19 first emerged, only for this virus to turn into a once-in-a-generation pandemic.
So how, exactly, is monkeypox different from Covid – and why are experts so much more relaxed about this outbreak?
More importantly, monkeypox does not spread as easily as Covid-19. “Respiratory spread is not the predominant concern” with monkeypox, McQuiston said. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is only transmitted between humans when there is very close contact with an infected person – for example by sharing clothes or bedding, or through saliva.
Symptoms of monkeypox, particularly the rash that typically appears on a person’s body, are also more detectable than symptoms of Covid-19. And asymptomatic spread – which complicated early efforts to contain Covid – has not been documented in monkeypox, according to a 2020 study.
“Monkey pox can be a serious infection,” especially in low-income countries where monitoring and treatments are not readily available, Michael Head, senior researcher in global health at the University of Southampton in the UK , told CNN last week. No deaths have been reported in the current outbreak.
However, in the developed world, “it would be very unusual to see anything other than a handful of cases in an outbreak, and we won’t see (Covid)-like levels of transmission,” Head said.
But perhaps most important of all, monkeypox is not a new disease. Smallpox vaccines can be used to fight the virus, there’s a wealth of scientific research into how the disease works, and it doesn’t mutate as quickly as Covid-19.
So if headlines about monkeypox take you back to March 2020, it’s worth thinking about.
“It’s a virus that we understand: we have vaccines for it, we have treatments for it, and it spreads very differently from SARS-Cov-2 – it’s not as contagious as Covid – so I’m confident that we’re going to be able to keep our arms around him,” White House Covid-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha told ABC’s Martha Raddatz on Sunday.
Q: Is Covid-19 contagious after treatment with Paxlovid?
A: People who have a relapse of Covid-19 after being treated with the antiviral drug Paxlovid may still be contagious, but they might not know it if they have no symptoms.
“People who rebound are at risk of transmitting to other people, even if they are outside of what people accept as the usual window for being able to transmit,” said Dr. Michael Charness of Veterans Administration Medical Center in Boston. .
Charness and his colleagues collaborated with a team of researchers from Columbia University to look at cases of Covid-19 that come back after Paxlovid treatment. He said they found at least two cases in which people transmitted the virus to others when their infection recurs.
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Shanghai is finally ‘re-opening’, but lockdown trauma lingers
Skyscrapers lit up, roads filled with traffic, and young people drank and danced in the streets as fireworks exploded overhead.
As of Wednesday morning, most of Shanghai’s 25 million people are free to leave their communities, shops and office buildings can reopen, cars are back on the streets and the subway and buses resume service.
Shanghai celebrated with a long-awaited burst of life on Wednesday, as the government lifted its citywide lockdown. But the reopening process is likely to be slow and painful as residents of the financial hub deal with the trauma of the past two months.
Has Covid put a damper on your love life? Date night will make its comeback a success
The pandemic may have seemed like the perfect opportunity to nurture a relationship with unlimited access to your partner, uninterrupted togetherness, and plenty of time for intimacy.
But, as most of us know, lockdowns have had the opposite effect on romance. Living on top of each other, not changing pajamas, and sometimes not showering was the epitome of not sexy.
Sex therapist Madelyn Esposito-Smith said Covid-19 had “incinerated sexual desire” for couples living together, removing all “intrigue and mystery” and making alone time a “precious commodity”.
With summer approaching, it’s time to bring back something we’ve been missing, maybe without even realizing it: a hot date.
North Korea may rethink restrictions after claiming its Covid outbreak is improving
North Korea says its Covid-19 outbreak is improving and is therefore considering revising its anti-epidemic regulations, according to its state-run media.
KCNA reported on Sunday that leader Kim Jong Un and other senior officials assessed the pandemic situation as “improved” and discussed adjusting lockdown measures.
Pyongyang reported more than 89,500 new “fever cases” and 106,390 recoveries between Friday and Saturday night nationwide, but did not mention whether there were any additional deaths.
According to KCNA, the country’s latest death toll stood at 69 as of the end of last week. However, given the lack of independent reports in North Korea, it is difficult to verify the figures and there has long been widespread skepticism about the country’s Covid reports.
If you are suffering from the long Covid, calm down
If you feel unwell in the weeks following a Covid-19 infection, you need to be prepared to take things slowly and manage your expectations of what you can and cannot do.
Dr. Erica Spatz, associate professor of cardiology at the Yale School of Medicine, said a common complaint is that even just walking around is horrible. When returning to exercise, “start with five to 10 minutes on a recumbent bike or rowing machine, and add a few minutes each week,” she suggested.
This “go slow” advice applies to all lingering effects of Covid, including cognition.
Learn more here.
You’ve probably experienced feelings of calm and happiness at the beach or by a lake, but it turns out that there are actually proven psychological and physical benefits to being near water. CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks with environmental psychologist Mathew White about the science behind water and why we all need more blue space in our lives. Listen now.