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Exclusive: Yes, monkeypox is a real threat — but risk level varies

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Yes, monkeypox is a real threat — but risk level varies

#monkeypox #real #threat #risk #level #varies

As the number of global monkeypox cases rises above 1,300, we’re getting a clearer picture of how the infection is playing out for individuals. For the most part, it’s been pretty manageable: Affected people get clusters of small, painful bumps or blisters — often in the genital area after sexual contact — which are accompanied by fever and lymph node swelling. Often, the rash spreads to the arms, legs, and face.

While monkeypox is known to leave behind scarring that can cause cosmetic problems, the less virulent West African version of the virus that is currently circulating is rarely lethal. As of June 2, none of the people involved in the current outbreak have died, in countries where the disease is not endemic.

What’s more, it’s relatively easy to avoid an infection. The virus is generally spread through contact with a monkeypox sore, so not touching others’ rashes is a solid prevention strategy.

With monkeypox infections preventable and not particularly deadly, it might be easy to brush off the threat of this pathogen. But we shouldn’t, and for an important reason: These infections can kill.

As Covid-19 made clear, one person’s mild infection can be another person’s death sentence. A minority of people are more at risk due to pre-existing conditions — and as the outbreak grows, so does the likelihood that monkeypox will find more vulnerable individuals. That makes it a pathogen worth containing — and worth having and sharing good treatments for. It also makes it worth figuring out who is most likely to get hurt the most, as the outbreak continues to spread.

The risk of monkeypox complications is higher for people who are immunocompromised, pregnant, or have certain skin conditions

Our best understanding of the range of problems monkeypox can cause comes from Nigeria, where health care providers have identified more than 550 cases of monkeypox since an outbreak erupted there in 2017.

The skin rash most people get due to monkeypox infection can be exquisitely painful, in some cases requiring hospitalization just to control the discomfort the bumps and blisters can cause. But what makes monkeypox dangerous is when the virus disseminates to organ systems beyond the skin, said Andrea McCollum, an epidemiologist at the Center for Disease Control’s poxvirus and rabies branch.

In the cases where monkeypox infection led to death, patients suffered from severe infections of the brain, the bloodstream, or the lungs. These complications may have resulted from direct viral effects on organs or from bacterial infections that the virus’ inflammatory effects helped facilitate, often called “secondary” infections.

These complications are most likely among people with severe immunosuppression, according to Dimie Ogoina, an infectious diseases physician at Niger Delta University in Bayelsa, Nigeria, and lead author of a report describing outcomes among Nigerian patients hospitalized between 2017 and 2018.

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Since that outbreak in Nigeria began, nine people have died of monkeypox infections, he explained in an email. Four of the people who died were living with uncontrolled HIV infection, Ogoina said, while one was a newborn and another had underlying kidney disease and was taking immunosuppressive medications. Additionally, one pregnant woman with monkeypox had a spontaneous miscarriage of her pregnancy at 26 weeks of gestation.

It’s not entirely clear why certain immunocompromised states put people at increased risk for monkeypox complications, said Stuart Isaacs, a virologist at the University of Pennsylvania who studies poxviruses, the family that includes monkeypox virus.

Researchers have tried to clarify the exact types of immunocompromised states that raise poxvirus risks using animal models. Those experiments have shown that CD4 T cells (which are depleted by untreated HIV infections) and antibody-producing B cells play a leading role in controlling the initial infection. However, there’s currently little human data to go on, said Brett Petersen, an internist and medical epidemiologist at the CDC.

For now, the agency’s treatment recommendations currently suggest that people with a broad range of immunocompromising conditions are at risk for severe disease (including HIV, a variety of cancers, organ transplants, certain stem cell transplants, and certain autoimmune diseases), as are children below the age of eight.

Also at higher risk are people with pre-existing skin conditions like eczema (i.e. atopic dermatitis), said McCollum, possibly because people spread infection from one body site to another when scratching, and pregnant people, who have a higher likelihood of spreading the virus to their pregnancies and potentially causing miscarriage.

Risk factors for monkeypox infection overlap with risk factors for a key immunocompromised state: Uncontrolled HIV

In the current global outbreak, monkeypox seems to be spreading largely through the kind of close contact that happens during sex. The same kinds of contact that put people at risk for monkeypox also puts them at risk for uncontrolled HIV infections. And so that raises the concern that people with uncontrolled HIV are at highest risk, not only for getting infected with monkeypox but also for suffering its worst consequences.

“This is the thing that worries me the most,” said Gregg Gonsalves, an epidemiologist at Yale University’s School of Public Health and an HIV and global health activist. On average, 13 percent of Americans with HIV are unaware of their diagnosis and not on treatment, but that proportion is as high as 20 percent in some Southern states and higher still in several of the Plains and Western states. ”If there’s a fifth of the HIV-positive community that doesn’t know their status, it means they’re at risk,” said Gonsalves.

A disease spread during sex can be contained if people avoid sexual contact when they’re sick, or rigorously use precautions like condoms or dental dams. And while many sexually active people do use these precautions, people whose sexual activity is stigmatized — like closeted gay or bisexual men — are less likely to do so. For these groups, homophobia and other stigmas often interfere with getting tested and seeking care for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

That means the same marginalized people who are at higher risk for untreated HIV are at higher risk for monkeypox infections — and for severe consequences of both. In many parts of the US, homophobia disproportionately prevents Black men from getting lifesaving HIV treatment — a major contributor to higher rates of HIV infections and deaths among Black Americans.

The more the outbreak spreads, the more likely that, eventually, it will reach higher numbers of immunocompromised people, where it could lead to terrible consequences. That should move us to urgent action regardless of where the spread is taking place, Ogoina said.

“If global action is not taken to better understand the virus and disease everywhere and to develop innovative countermeasures to address the challenge of monkeypox everywhere,” wrote Ogoina, there’s a serious risk. Then we could see big changes in who the virus infects and how much havoc it wreaks.

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Exclusive: Dr. Ben Carson Defends Clarence Thomas From Attacks By Hillary: For Liberals ‘Only Thing Worse Than Satan is a Black Conservative’ – TalkOfNews.com

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Dr. Ben Carson Defends Clarence Thomas From Attacks By Hillary: For Liberals ‘Only Thing Worse Than Satan is a Black Conservative’

#Ben #Carson #Defends #Clarence #Thomas #Attacks #Hillary #Liberals #Worse #Satan #Black #Conservative

Dr. Ben Carson responded to racially-tinged criticism from Hillary Clinton directed at Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, suggesting the only thing liberals despise more than Satan is “a black conservative.”

Carson made his comments in an interview with Fox News host Matha MacCallum.

MacCallum aired a montage of criticisms against Thomas, mostly by so-called comedians, and delivered with a particular level of vitriol since the Supreme Court’s recent ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, for the doctor to respond.

At the end of the clip was a segment from a recent interview with former First Lady Hillary Clinton.

Clinton shockingly launched a personal attack against Thomas, the only black man sitting on the Supreme Court, saying she has always known him to be “angry” and a “person of grievance.”

RELATED: Bitter Hillary Clinton Blasts Justice Clarence Thomas As ‘Angry’ Person ‘Of Grievance’

Ben Carson Defends Clarence Thomas

Dr. Ben Carson responded to Hillary’s comments about Clarence Thomas, along with the personal attacks coming from bitter leftists, saying they were “nothing particularly surprising.”

He proceeded to eviscerate liberals as only a world-renowned neurosurgeon and former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University could.

“For many on the left, the only thing worse than Satan is a black conservative,” he fired back. “They feel that Clarence Thomas is ripe for particular scorn because he is black and he’s supposed to think a certain way.”

As for Hillary’s controversial comments on Thomas, Carson vehemently denied her accusations.

“I’ve known Clarence Thomas for decades. I don’t find him to be that way at all,” he replied.

The former Republican presidential candidate pointed out he and Thomas are members of the Horatio Alger Society, where he is admired “not because he is a Supreme Court justice, but because of his personality.”

“He’s a perfect example of what my mother used to tell me,” he added.

“She would say, Benjamin, if you walk into an auditorium full of racist, bigoted people, you don’t have a problem. They have a problem because they’re all going to cringe and wonder if you’re going to sit next to them, whereas you can sit anywhere you want.”

Hillary right now is cringing and hoping she never has to sit next to Clarence Thomas.

RELATED: Ben Carson’s Letter to Maxine Waters Obliterates Her For ‘Shamelessness’

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Carson’s Not Afraid to Call Out Extremists on the Left

Carson also pointed out that Thomas certainly isn’t going to let others’ “grievances, and prejudices, and hatred to affect his life.”

The good doctor has a history of knocking leftists down a peg or two using the most gentle and softspoken of approaches.

As HUD Secretary, Carson penned a letter to Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) accusing her of “shamelessness” and lacking in “basic manners.”

Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tried to mock Carson over his appearance at a House Financial Services Committee hearing in 2019 saying, “Not sure he was fully awake.”

Carson fired back with an epic tweet in which he stacked his career credentials against hers.

“I know what it’s like to actually be sleepy, especially after 18-hour surgeries and operating on babies in the womb,” Carson replied, noting that Omar and her Democrat colleagues don’t view unborn babies “as having a right to life.”

As for Thomas, George Washington University has recently dashed the dreams of intolerant liberals who sought to get him fired from his job there as an adjunct professor.

“Because we steadfastly support the robust exchange of ideas and deliberation, and because debate is an essential part of our university’s academic and educational mission to train future leaders who are prepared to address the world’s most urgent problems, the university will neither terminate Justice Thomas’ employment nor cancel his class in response to his legal opinions,” the University responded.

Perhaps if they weren’t such angry people full of grievance, they’d come to accept Thomas as the admirable, intelligent man that Carson knows.

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Exclusive: Florida county slaps warning label on LGBTQ kids who join phys ed classes or overnight trips – TalkOfNews.com

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MIAMI, FLORIDA - MARCH 09: Anasofia Pelaez and Kimberly Blandon (L-R) protest in front of Florida State Senator Ileana Garcia's (FL-R) office after the passage of the Parental Rights in Education bill, dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" bill by LGBTQ activists on March 09, 2022 in Miami, Florida.  The bill passed by the Florida Senate and House would limit what classrooms can teach about sexual orientation and gender identity. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

#Florida #county #slaps #warning #label #LGBTQ #kids #join #phys #classes #overnight #trips

What drew the most debate was a provision that a school will notify parents — by form — if a student who is “open about their gender identity” is in a physical education class or on an overnight trip.

Some teachers and students during the Tuesday night meeting said the policy will “out” LGBTQ+ students — revealing their sexual orientation or gender identity without their permission.

Everyone got that? LGBTQ kids are a danger to your kids because they’re different. And we can’t have that!

Of course, Florida decided to officially get into the bully kids business when Ron DeSantis, the dude who put the goober in gubernatorial, decided to sign the state’s vicious Don’t Say Gay bill, which can only be described as a hammer blow to LGBTQ kids’ self-esteem.

Needless to say, not everyone was pleased with Leon County’s cruel tack.

“The notification to all the parents can create a very stressful and unwanted situation to trans and LGBTQ students,” Leon High School student Kailey Sandell said at the school board meeting, where the guide was approved 4-0. “A lot of times kids assume that kids are gay or trans; they will easily be able to hurt them.”

Lauren Kelly-Manders, a 34-year-old Tallahassee resident who sits on the city’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Council and came out while attending Leon High School, told the Tallahassee Democrat, “Sending out a parent notification could be seen as placing a target on a student’s back.”

Gee, ya think? What better way to reduce someone to second-class-citizen status than forcing them to come with a warning label?

Anyone who felt alienated or picked on in school knows how devastating this will be for these kids. While the guide does say that students’ sexual orientation and gender identity “should not be shared with others without their input and permission,” exactly how long will that hold up in this McCarthyist environment?

I can laugh off a lot, but conservatives are cutting to the bone now. This is flat-out nauseating. Let’s target some of our most vulnerable children in the most craven and lurid way imaginable, because ‘Merica!

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Exclusive: Democrats Hopeful in Retaining Senate Control – TalkOfNews.com

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Compelling Television

#Democrats #Hopeful #Retaining #Senate #Control

“When asked to share their candid thoughts about the Democrats’ chances of hanging onto their House majority in the coming election, party strategists often use words that cannot be printed in a family newsletter,” the New York Times reports.

“But a brighter picture is coming together for Democrats on the Senate side. There, Republicans are assembling what one top strategist laughingly described as an ‘island of misfit toys’ — a motley collection of candidates the Democratic Party hopes to portray as out of the mainstream on policy, personally compromised and too cozy with Donald Trump.”

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