After fake news about covid-19, now social networks are invaded by misinformation about monkey pox. Among the false ideas that are spreading, Internet users can read that the disease is “caused by vaccines” and that the Spanish authorities would be aware of the problem before the first cases of contamination were revealed.
Posts shared on social networks since May suggest that monkey pox is related to the anti-covid vaccine produced by Oxford / AstraZeneca, as among its components is a chimpanzee adenovirus. The claim, according to experts, is a fallacy.
This adenovirus has been genetically modified so that it can not multiply in the human body and it also belongs to a different family than the virus that causes monkey pox. Experts interviewed by AFP insist that there is no connection between the two pathogens.
The disease got its name (“monkey pox”) because it was first discovered in monkeys in 1958. “But, monkeys are not the hosts. Most likely it is in Africa, the continent where the virus originates, its sources are rodents, “Professor Flávio Guimarães da Fonseca, president of the Brazilian Society of Virology, told AFP.
The adenovirus is used in the vaccine as a vector to carry genetic instructions to the vaccinated cells, which then produce their own immune response against Covid-19. Like other “viral vector” vaccines, adenovirus is not capable of contaminating the body of the vaccinated person.
Cups in Spain
A message on Telegram questioned why the Spanish government “bought” two million doses of the smallpox vaccine in 2019. According to the publication, this acquisition proves that the authorities knew cases would arise.
Experts explain that the disease has been eradicated, but it is not its virus, so it is normal for a country like Spain to have strategic reserves of the immunizer.
Dr. Jaime Jesús Pérez, spokesman for the AEV (Spanish Association for Vaccinology), recalled in a statement to AFP that “smallpox is an eradicated disease, but its virus still exists, in both the United States and Russia, in laboratories with maximum safety”.
The disease has been considered eradicated since 1979 thanks to vaccination. Since 1984, the general population has not been immunized.
Other social media posts mocked the alleged “rapid” development of PCR tests to detect the monkey pox virus and warned of “false positive results, as with Covid-19”.
The WHO (World Health Organization) explains that the most appropriate way to diagnose the disease, in addition to the clinic, is a PCR test. This is the protocol that was adopted several years ago, long before the covid-19 pandemic.
The PCR test “is based on the evolution of molecules that only recognize the genetic sequencing of this microorganism,” says Álvaro Fajardo, Ph.D. in Biological Sciences and researcher at the LVM (Laboratory of Molecular Virology) at the Uruguayan Nuclear Research Center, to AFP.
Monkey cups ‘fostered’ by ‘elites’
In 2021, NTI, an American organization specializing in the prevention of nuclear and bacteriological hazards, organized a simulation of a monkey pox epidemic. The chosen date for this fictitious scenario? May 2022.
This coincidence is widely used to claim that the increase in monkey cups was orchestrated.
As the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the many contributors to NTI, the American billionaire, who has been the target of conspiracy theories for years, is also accused of being behind this new health alert.
“For the purpose of the exercise, we wanted to select a pathogen that was plausible in our scenario, and we selected monkey pox among several options suggested by our experts,” NTI explained, noting that “the risks of monkey pox are well documented for years by several health authorities. “.
“What is important to remember (from the 2021 simulation) is not the particular (chosen) pathogen in our fictional scenario, (but) the fact that the world is completely unprepared for future pandemics and that we must act immediately to address this vulnerability. “, the organization added.
A similar rumor circulated in 2020 about Covid-19, based on a simulated coronavirus outbreak in 2019.
Doxycycline, the new pseudomedicine
Many social media posts point to doxycycline, an antibiotic that “cures smallpox in two days,” as a drug adapted to fight smallpox in monkeys. However, doxycycline is not considered a treatment for this disease as it is not effective against viruses as several experts explained to AFP.
To find out what remedies can help relieve the symptoms of monkey pox, the best thing to do is see a doctor.