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Wellness Wednesday: Language surrounding the monkeypox outbreak

WHO Monkeypox
This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. WHO's top monkeypox expert Dr. Rosamund Lewis said she doesn’t expect the hundreds of cases reported to date to turn into another pandemic, but acknowledged there are still many unknowns about the disease, including how exactly it’s spreading and whether the suspension of mass smallpox immunization decades ago may somehow be speeding its transmission.

Last month cases of monkeypox were confirmed worldwide. The majority of early cases occurred among gay and bisexual men. This recent outbreak has been portrayed in stigmatizing ways, echoing the panic associated with HIV/AIDS in the ‘80’s.

We’ll look at what monkeypox is and how the language associated with the transmission of the disease hurts communities based on race and sexuality.


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