Monkey pox .. Is there justification for fear?

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The circle of concern about the increasing number of monkeypox infections around the world is growing, after this disease has been endemic in West Africa for a long time. US President Joe Biden said yesterday, during his visit to South Korea, that the recent cases of monkeypox in Europe and the United States are “a matter of concern.” He explained that this concern stems from the fact that if this disease is destined to spread, its consequences will be dire. He added that work was underway to determine which type of vaccine might be effective against monkeypox. His National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Air Force One, which was on its way from South Korea to Japan yesterday, that the United States has sufficient quantities of a vaccine to treat monkeypox. The countries of the Western world had reported, until last Friday, more than 100 injuries, including two confirmed, and 80 suspected cases in the United States. The Dutch government said in a statement (Saturday) that it had discovered a number of monkeypox infections, but did not specify their number. And Germany said yesterday (Sunday) that it had discovered two injuries in Berlin, bringing the number to three, after confirming the presence of an injury in Munich. Yesterday, Switzerland reported that it had discovered an infection in the canton (region) of Bern. Yesterday, Israel announced that it had recorded the first infection with this disease. Monkeypox causes fever, muscle aches, and a sickening rash. It is similar to smallpox, but less dangerous. As the odds of death of the infected person does not exceed 1%. Most sufferers recover within 2-4 weeks. Ironically, monkeypox is not spread through the air, as is the case with Covid-19, but through intimate contact, and in many cases through sexual contact, or contact with a rash patient.

The eradication of the smallpox virus more than 40 years ago was one of the greatest scientific achievements in human history; This led to the elimination of a virus that causes death, blindness, and physical disfigurement, especially in the face. Smallpox has been terrorizing humans for at least 3,000 years. And Bloomberg indicated yesterday that despite the greatness of that scientific achievement; The negative side is that the eradication of smallpox led countries to stop vaccination campaigns against it. They added that the smallpox vaccine played an effective role in curbing viruses that cause other types of smallpox, including monkeypox. The current fear of monkeypox stems from the fact that this virus has jumped across borders to become a health crisis in all countries of the world. Monkeypox was discovered in 1958, after an outbreak of a smallpox-like disease among monkeys kept in laboratories for laboratory experiments. While about 30% of those who contracted smallpox died; Only between 3% and 6% of those who died of monkeypox, according to figures from the World Health Organization.

in Britain; Health experts have expressed concern about the consequences of the outbreak of monkeypox on health service performance, especially clinics for dermatology and venereology. And the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) television reported yesterday that some of these clinics decided to stop receiving their patients. In addition, the 20 confirmed infections diagnosed in Britain forced health authorities to inform medical personnel that every nurse and doctor who examined a person infected with monkeypox must be subjected to sanitary isolation, which leads to a decrease in the number of health personnel in hospitals and specialized venereal clinics.

Until yesterday (Sunday), it was confirmed that there were monkeypox cases in the United States, Britain, Italy, Sweden, Portugal and Canada. The monkeypox virus is transmitted through contact with the skin of the infected person. Also, this virus enters the body through the eyes, nose, and mouth. Although it was not previously described as a sexually transmitted disease; However, most confirmed infections in Britain occurred in gays. The incubation period of the virus in the infected body extends to between 5 and 21 days, after which symptoms appear. British health experts say the smallpox vaccine is the best protection against monkeypox.

A daily aspirin… it does more harm than good!

It is not the first time that aspirin has been attacked, especially since hundreds of millions take a tablet of it every day to protect the heart from strokes and angina pectoris. The New York Times reported yesterday that the American Committee for Prevention Services, a body of eminent experts in the fields of public health, has been studying the evidence for the benefit of taking aspirin to prevent heart attacks for three decades. Last month, it issued its recommendations in this regard, warning people over the age of 60 not to start taking aspirin for the purpose of prevention only. Yesterday, The Times quoted committee member Dr. John Wong as saying that taking aspirin daily carries the risk of serious damage, especially the possibility of internal bleeding. He added that these risks are much greater than what was concluded by the report of the same committee issued in 2016. He explained that the phrase “primary prevention” usually refers to people who have never had a heart attack or stroke, and who do not suffer from heart disease. He added that high blood pressure is not considered a heart disease. As for people who take a daily aspirin tablet for the purpose of “secondary prevention,” they are those who have had heart attacks, strokes, or who have undergone open-heart surgery. They are the ones facing the possibility of more heart disease, so aspirin becomes an important part of their treatment. Dr. Wong noted that taking a daily aspirin for people between the ages of 40 and 59 does not bring them any significant health benefits. He said they should not take it daily unless doctors decide they face a 10 percent or greater risk of heart disease.

A 2019 study indicated that a third of Americans over the age of 40 take a daily aspirin. As for those over the age of 75, more than 45% of them take it daily for preemptive primary protection, which means excessive use of this drug.

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