I vaguely recall learning about coxpox (vaccinia) in medical school as it led to the vaccine for smallpox. Smallpox is caused by the variola virus. Edward Jenner in 1796 noticed that milkmaids who developed cowpox were protected from smallpox. This led to a worldwide smallpox vaccination program and the 33rd World Health Assembly declared the world free of smallpox on May 8, 1980.
You may ask why I am discussing smallpox and cowpox instead of monkeypox. It is because the variola virus, cowpox virus, vaccinia virus, and monkeypox virus all belong to the Orthopoxvirus genus meaning they are related. The majority of contemporary smallpox live-virus vaccinations contain vaccinia virus. This seems confusing but the point is these viruses are all related and there is some immunity from being inoculated by vaccinia for variola virus which causes smallpox. Most people under the age of forty-five have not been vaccinated as smallpox was eradicated. The smallpox vaccination from many years ago provided about an 85% reduction in infections.
In the last month, we have been bombarded with news about monkeypox. Since monkeypox and smallpox are caused by similar viruses, the media always mentions smallpox in the same breath as monkeypox. While it is true that smallpox has a reported death rate of up to 30% the death rate for monkey pox is at worst 10% (if that data is true) for the Central African clade and the Western African clade (variant) at 3% at worst. Other sources report the Western African clade at 1%.
Death rates do not tell the complete story because if you have an infection with a high death rate but is difficult to transmit it will not become a pandemic. The way that infectivity of a disease is expressed as the R or RO value. This is the number of new cases an existing case likely will cause. The R or RO value for monkeypox historically has been less than 1.0. This means that every confirmed case of monkeypox is expected to spread to less than one other person. In contrast, Smallpox had an R or RO value of 3.5 to 6.0 and Covid 19 at the highest recorded level was 3.74. This had led a few researchers to predict that monkeypox will not reach epidemic or pandemic levels as it is not nearly as infectious.
There are two ways to transmit monkeypox. The first is contact with an infected animal. Even though it is named monkeypox (because it was first isolated from lab research monkeys, which is interesting, maybe they were infected deliberately? just a thought) the main infected animals include prairie dogs, rats, mice, rabbits, and the African Squirrel. The second is transmission from a human infected by an animal then spreading to another human. The previous monkey pox outbreaks were initiated by contact with infected animals followed by human-to-human transmission. The transmission from person to person is thought to occur by respiratory droplet transfer and occurs infrequently. This would explain the R or RO value of less than one. Nigeria has recorded 446 cases since 2017 as there are several rodents in Africa that carry the monkeypox virus increasing the exposure. There was an outbreak in the United States back in 2003 when some imported rodents from Africa were transported or housed with prairie dogs which were sold, and the exposure led to forty-seven confirmed or suspected cases. The problem with all the news reports is that they lump together confirmed with suspected cases. The cases are confirmed currently by PCR testing. We know that PCR testing is not accurate in diagnosing disease and is only meant for research purposes. Added to the unreliability of the PCR testing is the fact that the suspected cases are a problem because they are based on the appearance of the rash and chicken pox and shingles have a rash sometimes indistinguishable from monkeypox. There are instances I observed for this research that used the identical picture labeled previously as smallpox being used as a picture of monkeypox.
At this point we know that monkeypox is a rare (it is estimated that there are maybe 1000 cases worldwide currently, and if you probably could exclude many of the suspected cases, the true number is less) and mild illness in the vast majority of cases, with low transmissibility from human to human (low R or RO value). These factors argue that there is no current reason to suspect monkeypox is the next pandemic.
The reason I believe monkeypox will be portrayed as the next pandemic is that there is a vaccine company that has produced a new smallpox/monkeypox vaccine that received an Emergency Use Authorization in 2019. This is interesting since smallpox was eradicated in 1980 and for the above reasons there really is not any reason to believe monkeypox will cause either an epidemic or pandemic. What was the emergency in 2019? Why skip the standard process for testing? The company is Bavarian Nordic and the smallpox +/- monkeypox vaccine is called JYNNEOS. They made quite a bit of money through a failed Ebola vaccine called MVABEA which was licensed to Jannsen Pharmaceuticals. There are insufficient cases of monkeypox to justify a vaccine and the lack of high infectivity show there is some sort of agenda. The U.S. Government already had a stockpile of smallpox vaccine but now are saying it had adverse effects s that is why they gave an EUA on a new “vaccine” even though it has never been given to anyone exposed to see if it works? It appears that they believe it will provide immunity for monkeypox based on an assumption.
I believe that the monkeypox outbreak is suspicious. I think it is going to be the way mask mandates, social distancing, lockdowns and new “vaccine” requirements will be put into place conveniently before the November elections. This is a jaded view of the situation, but we saw this with Covid. I also find it interesting that there is a significant rise in the incidence of shingles in the Covid vaccinated population that could be labeled monkeypox. This may add to the hysteria coming in the months ahead.
My solace in everything happening in the world is that I am confident in God and his promises for his children. I am a child of God. You may become one also. If you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior, I recommend you speak with someone who can give you the vital information to help you secure your eternity in Heaven with us. If you a follower and don’t have a church home, I encourage you to find one as communing with fellow believers is the way to increase your faith and your quality of life knowing you are not alone. My church home is Fairview Baptist Church in Edmond, Oklahoma. If you are close by, come visit us, if not you may contact our church and they may know of a church in your area that might fit your needs. You may get information online at www.fairviewbaptistedmond.org.
David Jayne M.D.