FACT CHECK: Misconceptions about snake pox and monkey pox

FACT CHECK: Misconceptions about snake pox and monkey pox
FACT CHECK: Misconceptions about snake pox and monkey pox

KOMPAS.com – Positive patient monkeypox or monkeypox which was detected for the first time in Indonesia has been declared cured since last Friday (16/9/2022).

Previously, the Ministry of Health (Kemenkes) announced the findings of the first monkeypox case in Indonesia last August in a 27-year-old man from DKI Jakarta.

Although only a few have been found in Indonesia, globally, monkeypox cases are still a concern because there are tens of thousands of cases found.

According to records from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of Wednesday (9/21/2022), there were 64,290 confirmed cases of monkeypox globally.

In the midst of global attention about this disease, claims circulated on social media implying that monkeypox was just a hoax.

Photos of shingles or shingles being misused to prove that monkeypox is not real.

Narrative on social media

On May 21, 2022, this Facebook account uploaded screenshots of two articles, which showed photos of hands with lesions resembling smallpox symptoms.

Screenshot of the first article sourced from the Department of Health in Queensland, Australia, about shingles, an infectious disease caused by a virus varicella zoster. The article uses a hand-drawn with lesions.

The second article is sourced from the site HealthSite published in July 2021. The article uses the same image to discuss monkeypox.

Hmm…. interesting… see the date of the article…” he wrote, in Indonesian translation.

The post caught the attention of many users, until it was interpreted as evidence that monkeypox was a hoax.

The screenshot was also redistributed by other social media users, for example on this Facebook account, Twitter thisand this Instagram.

Many comments took the post as evidence that monkeypox was a hoax, part of a vaccination plan, even a trick ahead of the general election.

Here are some of the comments:

More lies from the deepest country! Want you lined up for that booster! Impossible!

Or a side effect of the vaccine. Doesn’t fit their agenda, so here it is again and again,” wrote one comment.

We ALL KNOW they will try something else to ‘try to make a Panic’ to encourage their ‘Mail in Balloting’ before the Mid Term election. The closer the date gets, the more ‘Worse’ this will happen…..prepare to see them try to do this, what do they get with the virus,” wrote another comment.

However, there is context and explanation missing from the two screenshots. So, how to put the correct context?

Photo has been changed

Reported from USA TodayWednesday (21/9/2022), one of the Twitter users who uploaded the circulating screenshot did not actually mean to deny the existence of monkeypox.

He just wanted to point out how a site mistakenly used an image of shingles, or shingles, as an image for an article about monkeypox.

As for the site HealthSite has changed the photo in the article. The article’s update date is 23 May 2022. The photo is no longer the same as the hand-drawn with lesions on the Queensland Department of Health website.

This article was copied with the same photo on another website, namely 247 News Around the World. The archive can be seen here.

Later, the article also mistakenly used a photo of snake pox and then changed it for a different photo.

The article tells of a US citizen who contracted monkeypox and was hospitalized after traveling from Nigeria to the United States.

Two different diseases

Monkeypox and snakepox are two distinctly different diseases.

Monkeypox is caused by a virus from the Orthopoxvirus family group. Symptoms of this disease usually start with fever, headache and fatigue and then progress to lumps.

Meanwhile, shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, which is the same thing that causes chickenpox.

According to the National Institute on Aging, about one in three people who have chickenpox will develop shingles or shingles, which is a reactivation of the virus.

Symptoms vary but some of them are blisters, burning pain, tingling, itching, to fever.

This misunderstanding occurred because of the use of different photos to depict monkeypox.

Although scientists are still researching its origins and how it spread, there is plenty of documentation of monkeypox from official sources.

Starting from the World Health Organization (WHO), the CDC, medical libraries and news outlets have detailed the history, transmission, and prevention mechanisms of the virus.

So, even though the photo posted is wrong, it doesn’t mean the monkeypox virus doesn’t exist.

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The article is in Indonesian

Tags: FACT CHECK Misconceptions snake pox monkey pox

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