Tuesday 24 May 2022 07:01 PM Monkeypox myths DEBUNKED: Bogus conspiracy theories say AstraZeneca's Covid ... trends now

Tuesday 24 May 2022 07:01 PM Monkeypox myths DEBUNKED: Bogus conspiracy theories say AstraZeneca's Covid ... trends now
Tuesday 24 May 2022 07:01 PM Monkeypox myths DEBUNKED: Bogus conspiracy theories say AstraZeneca's Covid ... trends now

Tuesday 24 May 2022 07:01 PM Monkeypox myths DEBUNKED: Bogus conspiracy theories say AstraZeneca's Covid ... trends now

The monkeypox outbreak that has swept the globe has churned up dozens of bogus conspiracy theories about its origins, how it is spread and its symptoms.

Some of the myths being peddled online include that the outbreak is actually just a 'cover up' of vaccine-induced shingles and that AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine causes monkeypox. 

Others have wrongly suggested the virus leaked from the Chinese lab at the heart of Covid's origin debate, and that eating meat in Britain may give someone monkeypox.

Here, MailOnline dismisses some of the bogus claims gaining most traction on social media. 

Conspiracy theories swirl in China that monkeypox was deliberately leaked by the United States

Chinese social media users are saying the US could be the source of the rise in monkeypox cases, with conspiracy theories stating the US deliberately leaked the virus which has now spread to at least a dozen countries.

A hashtag on the US reporting two cases of monkeypox has attracted more than 51 million views on Weibo as of Monday.

The infectious disease became a trending topic on the platform after cases were found in the UK, Spain and Australia.

Chinese state media has accused the United States of intentionally spreading Covid, which originated in China, but has so far held back from taking the same approach with monkeypox.

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Monkeypox is NOT just shingles 

A picture of the tell-tale rash of shingles was used to illustrate a monkeypox story published by The Health Site, described as India's fastest growing medical info page.

Social media users quickly noticed it, and have since peddled it as 'proof' that the world's monkeypox outbreak is fake.

Both infections can cause itchy blisters — despite being caused by two separate viruses. 

However, shingles usually appears on the tummy and chest and only one side of the body.

With monkeypox, a rash often begins on the face before spreading to other parts of the body, including the genitals.

But social media users latched on to the picture as supposed evidence that the monkeypox outbreak was actually only shingles.

Conspiracy theorists also posted what appears to be fake a screenshot from a Canadian TV network, which stated that 95 per cent of suspected cases detected across the country actually turned out to be shingles. 

Although, this is not the case.

Other anti-vaxx critics have since tried to pin shingles on the Covid jabs, claiming that monkeypox is being used as a 'cover story' for a side effect.

Some described it as a known 'adverse reaction' to the jab. 

None of the Covid vaccines can cause monkeypox, however. 

Only a 'few' cases of shingles have been recorded following mRNA jabs, according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology.

Shingles is rarely life-threatening. For comparison, the circulating monkeypox strain is estimated to kill around one in 100 people.  

AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine does NOT cause monkeypox

AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine causes monkeypox, according to one completely bogus conspiracy theory.

The suggestion was even peddled by boyband Right Said Fred. 

Twitter users posted a snip of a leaflet given alongside the AZ jab, which states the dose contains 'chimpanzee adenovirus vector', in an attempt to convince others of the falsehood. 

Adenoviruses are a different family to orthopoxviruses, the technical classification for monkeypox. 

The vaccine does contains the chimpanzee adenovirus, which has been genetically modified to contain material carried by the coronavirus so that the body recognises it. 

However, it cannot physically grow in humans. 

AstraZeneca's vaccine, originally developed by Oxford University researchers, has been given to millions of people and has been repeatedly proven to save lives. 

One epidemiologist at the US CDC, tasked with containing America's outbreak, said: 'Monkeypox is called Monkeypox because it was first discovered in infected monkeys in laboratories. That’s it. 

'Getting AstraZeneca’s vaccine won’t give you monkeypox. Period.

'Please stop with this outlandish theory.'

AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine causes monkeypox, according to one completely bogus conspiracy theory. The suggestion was even peddled by boyband Right Said Fred

AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine causes monkeypox, according to one completely bogus conspiracy theory. The suggestion was even peddled by boyband Right Said Fred

Monkeys are NOT definitely to blame for monkeypox 

Despite decades of searching for the natural reservoir of monkeypox, health chiefs are no closer to an answer.

The disease itself was first discovered in laboratory monkeys who became infected in the late 1950s, hence the name.

Since then, various animal species in west and central Africa have been named as potential carriers of this pox virus. 

'This includes rope squirrels, tree squirrels, Gambian pouched rats, dormice, non-human primates,' according to the World Health Organization.

Chickenpox is not named after chickens. Instead, its name is believed to originate from the rash, which can resemble pecks marks caused by a chicken.

Wild claims are circulating social media that the NHS has warned eating meat will give you monkeypox

Wild claims are circulating social media that the NHS has warned eating meat will give you monkeypox

Eating meat will NOT give you monkeypox... in Britain or the majority of the world  

Wild claims are also circulating on social media about the NHS issuing a 'warning to anyone who eats meat' in the wake of the outbreak.

Twitter users have since wrongly stated that the health service says 'anyone who eats meat in the UK will get monkeypox'. 

However, this is not the case. 

The NHS does say: 'It may also be possible to catch monkeypox by eating meat from an infected animal that has not been cooked thoroughly.'

But this relates to infected wild animals in countries where the virus is endemic, like Nigeria and Cameroon. Monkeypox is not yet entrenched in animals outside of west and central Africa.

The US CDC says that animal-to-human transmission may occur through 'bush meat preparation'.

Until the recent outbreak - which is being spread by close contact with infected people - the virus was spread in west and central Africa, where it is endemic, by animals. In those countries, people can become infected if they eat meat from an infected animal that has not been cooked thoroughly

Until the recent outbreak - which is being spread by close contact with infected people - the virus was spread in west and central Africa, where it is endemic, by animals. In those countries, people can become infected if they eat meat from an infected animal that has not been cooked thoroughly

Monkeypox has NOT leaked from Wuhan laboratory 

The Chinese lab at the centre of the Covid origin debate has this week found itself dragged into the monkeypox outbreak.

It comes after it emerged that researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were experimenting with monkeypox last year.

Critics have since called for China to be slapped with 'crimes against humanity' for wanting 'freedom and liberty lovers dead or diseased'.

The report is based on a study published in January, in which the scientists set out results from developing a PCR test for monkeypox.

Although the paper, in the journal Virologica Sinica, showed the researchers toyed with the virus, only coincidence links it to the current monkeypox outbreak.

The team used a fragment of monkeypox genome, less than one-third of its full size, which was described as a 'fail safe' way of preventing a leak. 

In contrast, the evidence around Covid leaking out of the high-security lab is much stronger.

The lab at the centre of Covid origin debate has been dragged into the monkeypox outbreak after it emerged it was experimenting with monkeypox

The lab at the centre of Covid origin debate has been dragged into the monkeypox outbreak after it emerged it was experimenting with monkeypox

Bill Gates has NOT engineered the monkeypox outbreak

The Microsoft co-founder — the second richest man in the world — was at the heart of a raft of conspiracies after he predicted that a coronavirus could sweep the world before the pandemic took off in early 2020. 

Twitter users accused him of 'experimenting on people in third world countries' and 'profiting' from health crises.

Now, they have wrongly accused him of being a 'terrorist' because he warned of the possibility of a smallpox terror attack in November 2021. Others have called for him to be arrested.

Smallpox is genetically very similar to monkeypox, but the two viruses are different. 

Most claims are based on false pre-existing narratives around the billionaire, whose foundation has heavily invested in developing vaccines.

The Microsoft co-founder was at the heart of Covid conspiracies after he predicted that a coronavirus would sweep the world before the virus took off in 2020

The Microsoft co-founder was at the heart of Covid conspiracies after he predicted that a coronavirus would sweep the world before the virus took off in 2020

How DO you catch monkeypox and what are the symptoms? EVERYTHING you need to know about tropical virus

How do you catch monkeypox?

Until this worldwide outbreak, monkeypox was usually caught from infected animals in west and central Africa.

The tropical virus is thought to be spread by rodents, including rats, mice and even squirrels. 

Humans can catch the illness — which comes from the same family as smallpox — if they're bitten by infected animals, or touch their blood, bodily fluids, or scabs. 

Consuming contaminated wild game or bush meat can also spread the virus.

The orthopoxvirus can enter the body through broken skin — even if it's not visible, as well as the eyes, nose and mouth.

Despite being mainly spread by wild animals, it was known that monkeypox could be passed on between people.

However, health chiefs insist it is very rare.

Human-to-human spread can occur if someone touches clothing or bedding used by an infected person, or through direct contact with the virus' tell-tale scabs. 

The virus can also spread through coughs and sneezes. 

In the ongoing surge in cases, experts think the virus is passing through skin-to-skin contact during sex — even though this exact mechanism has never been seen until now.

How deadly is it?

Monkeypox is usually mild, with most patients recovering within a few weeks without treatment. 

Yet, the disease kills up to 10 per cent of cases. But this high rate is thought to be in part due to a historic lack of testing meaning that a tenth of known cases have died rather than a tenth of all infections.

However, with milder strains the fatality rate is closer to one in 100 — similar to when Covid first hit.

The UK cases all had the West African version of the virus, which is mild compared to the Central African strain. 

It is thought that cases in Portugal and Spain also have the milder version, though tests are underway.

How is it tested for? 

It can be difficult to diagnose

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