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Monkeypox Spike: What You Need To Know About The Infectious Disease

There’s been a surprising spike this year in the number of Monkeypox cases internationally and in Australia, but are concerns warranted?

Professor David Tscharke from the Australian National University says while monkeypox is considerably less infectious than respiratory illnesses like COVID-19, the rapid spread of the virus appears to signal a shift in its behaviour.

Infectious diseases expert Professor David Tscharke explains what’s causing the Mpox spike on The Briefing podcast:

“People kind of forget about it, the virus is still there, and everyone just goes back to normal. And so the virus goes back to normal, which is happily spreading at whatever opportunity you give it.”

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Tscharke prefers to call the disease Mpox, as people were “not wanting to comply with their treatment because they just didn’t like the name.”

Mpox is transmitted from animals to humans. Cases are often found close to tropical rainforests and were first discovered in monkeys in the 1950s.

“Because it’s in Africa and it’s not in Australia, we’re not thinking about it. But if you ask me as a poxvirologist, l’m kind of more worried about what’s going on there than what’s going on here.”

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