“Monkeypox.” The word alone sounds horrible — conjuring some medieval scourge. And it can be horrible, for those people unfortunate enough to contract the virus. But what exactly is monkeypox? In a world so understandably worried about the coronavirus, it may seem difficult to pivot mentally and have to worry suddenly about a whole new public health threat — particularly while covid is still very much with us. But if you’re wondering what monkeypox is exactly, or how dangerous it is, rest assured: You are not alone — and it’s hardly a dumb question. And Grid Science Editor Lauren Morello stands ready to help.
Morello, who has overseen coverage of public health crises including Ebola, Zika and covid, acknowledges that while “I knew what monkeypox was because I’m a science nerd,” most people probably hadn’t heard about the virus until it appeared this summer and started spreading in many parts of the world.
For the latest in our “No Dumb Questions” series, Morello looks at the relative severity of monkeypox, where it first surfaced, where it lives and what to do if you are infected. All part of the answer to this week’s fundamental question: What is monkeypox?
We’d love to hear from you with other ideas for the series. We like to think there are no “dumb questions”; or, put differently, that there’s almost nothing out there in the world of news and information that couldn’t use a little more clarity and context in terms of the answers. We also know that we have really smart readers, and that even the smartest among them can’t be expected to have every shred of important context or background on all the events that are roiling the world at any given moment. Send your ideas and questions to email@example.com.
More ‘No Dumb Questions’ videos
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Thanks to Lillian Barkley for copy editing this article.