Johns Hopkins’ Dr. Amesh Adalja: Monkeypox ‘doesn’t have the biological characteristics’ to cause a pandemic

Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said on Tuesday that monkeypox “doesn’t have the biological characteristics” to cause a pandemic and is less contagious than COVID-19.

One confirmed case of monkeypox has been reported in the United States in addition to several suspected cases this month. 

In a Tuesday appearance on Hill.TV’s “Rising,” Adalja explained that the illness appeared to cluster “within sexual networks of men who have sex with other men,” adding, “and it’s not something that’s a general threat to the public, although anybody can get infected if they’re exposed in the appropriate manner.”

“Monkeypox is much less contagious than COVID-19. Though it can be spread by respiratory droplets, it’s usually in close contact. The other thing about monkeypox is it’s not contagious during the incubation period, so very different transmission characteristics from COVID-19. And the general public is not at risk from this monkeypox outbreak,” he said. 

“You have to also keep in mind that not every pathogen has pandemic potential. Monkeypox is not something that can cause a pandemic. It simply doesn’t have the biological characteristics to be able to do so. And we have a tried and true mechanism to stop it, which is the vaccines,” he added.

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