A new survey of monkeypox outbreak perceptions among US adults offers primary care clinicians a quick take on what their patients may be thinking.
The monkeypox virus outbreak is causing significant concern in some parts of the country, most notably in New York where the state today declared monkeypox an “Imminent Threat to Public Health” and in San Francisco where the mayor announced a “legal state of emergency” around the outbreak.
What do Americans think about the monkeypox virus and the outbreak at this stage? Are false beliefs beginning to coalesce around misinformation already in wide circulation? Are people afraid of contracting monkeypox?
The Annenberg Public Policy Center posted findings today from a survey conducted July 12-18, 2022 of more than 1500 Americans that queried these topics and more. Get a quick take on the results in the slides below.
Total US monkeypox cases confirmed as of July 28, 2022: 4907. Highest number of cases in California – 799 New York-1247
Heightened monkeypox threat alerts. WHO: Public Health Emergency of international Concern. State of New York: Imminent Threat to Pubic Health. City of San Francisco: Legal state of emergency.
Monkeypox virus and COVID-19: 1 in 5 Americans worried about getting monkeypox in the next 3 months while 1 in 3 worry about contracting COVID-19.
Is there a monkeypox virus? 66% of respondents said they are either not sure or don’t believe there is a vaccine for monkeypox virus; 34% do know a vaccine exists. There are 2 vaccines available.
Monkeypox communication problems. Women are more worried (23%) about catching monkeypox than men (15%). But, the majority of cases in the US are among men who have sex with men.
Misinformation, conspiracy theories, again. Bioengineered? 54% of Americans reject the idea that monkeypox virus was created in a laboratory. But 34%are not sure if that is true or false and 12% say this is probably or definitely true.