How Concerned Should We Be About Monkeypox?

Cause for concern or not?

Tom Stevenson
7 min readMay 28, 2022


Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Joe Biden recently said we should be concerned about Monkeypox, a virus that is spreading throughout western countries after mainly being confined to Western Africa.

There are fears we could have another pandemic on our hands. Having just about come out of the Coronavirus pandemic, the virus is still here but vaccines have helped mitigate the worst effects, are we really about to go back to the dark days of March 2020 again?

What hasn’t been reported as much as Biden’s comments about being concerned, is that he also said we shouldn't be as concerned about it as Covid.

In other words, he’s saying it’s unlikely we’ll see a widespread pandemic that kills millions as was the case with Covid. Of course, developments are at an early stage and his words could come back to haunt him in a month or two. But then he can hardly say we’re guaranteed to have another pandemic at such an early stage in the outbreak.

What I want to do in this post is take a sober and rational look at what’s going on. I should make it clear that I’m not a healthcare professional, I have no background or expertise in this field. I’m merely a writer who’s interested in finding more about monkeypox out of curiosity.

I’m going to try to avoid jumping to conclusions and make claims of impending doom about what’s going to happen, because, in truth, no one really knows. All I’m going to try is lay out the information as it stands and see what it suggests.

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a viral infection that typically manifests symptoms such as fever, rash and skin lesions a week or two after exposure. It’s thought the primary method of transmission is through body fluids, close contact with someone who’s infected or through a contaminated object.

There’s no indication monkeypox can be spread from human to human through airborne transmission, although as the outbreak is in its infancy, it can’t be ruled out yet.

Monkeypox is similar to smallpox, a disease that was eradicated in 1977, with symptoms manifesting in a similar fashion. This close similarity means that the smallpox vaccine is estimated to be 85%



Tom Stevenson