: Polio and the monkeypox outbreak demonstrate a ‘heightened focus’ on viruses

by | Aug 21, 2022 | Stock Market

Two-plus years of COVID-19, and people are thinking differently about viruses.  The U.S. this month declared monkeypox a public health emergency, and people at high risk of getting the virus — particularly men who have sex with men — are lining up in city streets to get vaccinated. An avian flu outbreak that pushed egg prices higher is finally winding down. Polio reemerged in New York. And then there’s SARS-CoV-2, which is still infecting about 93,000 people a day in the U.S. 

“There is heightened focus on these types of outbreaks and diseases,” said Chris Meekins, a healthcare policy analyst at Raymond James. “Where we have been historically, it’s just the attention is greater.” There are several factors that help explain some of the activity we are seeing. Research suggests that climate change and shifting land-use patterns could create a higher risk of viruses jumping from animals to humans. Some people are hesitant to get themselves and their children vaccinated. And it’s become clear that public-health bodies have to rethink the way they approach outbreaks. Just last week, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called for a reorganization to the public-health agency.  “It is time for CDC to change,” she told employees, according to the New York Times.  For now, however, the focus is on encouraging vaccination, whenever possible. Though some people are increasingly hesitant to get vaccinated, the pandemic has also slowed utilization of medical services, and …

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