August 18: Monkeypox: What Is It and How Concerned Should We Be?

Monkeypox: What Is It and How Concerned Should We Be?

A Virtual Conversation with Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Stephen Morse, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Thursday, August 18, at 7 PM EDT on Zoom

According to the CDC, “Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox.”

The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970. Prior to the 2022 outbreak, monkeypox had been reported in people in several central and western African countries. In late July, the World Health Organization declared Monkeypox Spread a Global Health Emergency.  The confirmed cases of monkeypox have now surpassed 25,300 worldwide. As of August 2, The U.S. had reported more than 6,300 confirmed cases with 1,617 confirmed cases in New York, followed by 826 confirmed cases in California.

The vaccine, Jynneos, is the only FDA-licensed vaccine in the United States that is approved for prevention of monkeypox disease. It is also approved for prevention of smallpox disease. However, it is in short supply.

Here to talk about these issues and how concerned you should be about monkeypox is Dr. Stephen S. Morse  (@drSteveMorse), professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. He will talk to SWINY co-chair David Levine (@dlloydlevine) about the recent outbreak, the vaccine shortage and how concerned we should be about monkeypox.

About Dr. Stephen S. Morse

Dr. Stephen S. Morse’s interests focus on epidemiology and risk assessment of infectious diseases (particularly emerging infections, including influenza), and improving disease early warning systems.

In 2000, he returned to Columbia after four years in government as program manager for Biodefense at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), U.S. Department of Defense, where he co-directed the Pathogen Countermeasures program and subsequently directed the Advanced Diagnostics program.

Before coming to Columbia, he was assistant professor of virology at The Rockefeller University in New York, and remains an adjunct faculty member. His book, Emerging Viruses (Oxford University Press) was selected by American Scientist for its list of “100 Top Science Books of the 20th Century.” Dr. Morse was chair and principal organizer of the 1989 NIAID/NIH (National Institutes of Health) Conference on Emerging Viruses, for which he originated the term and concept of emerging viruses/infections; served as a member of the Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Emerging Microbial Threats to Health (and chaired its Task Force on Viruses), and was a contributor to its report, Emerging Infections (1992). He subsequently served on the Steering Committee of the Institute of Medicine’s Forum on Microbial Threats, and has served on a number of National Academies of Sciences committees on infectious diseases, biomedical policy, and biotechnology; and as an adviser to numerous government and international organizations.

Dr. Morse was the founding chair of ProMED (the nonprofit international Program to Monitor Emerging Diseases) and was an originator of ProMED-mail, an international network inaugurated by ProMED in 1994 for outbreak reporting and disease monitoring using the Internet. He was appointed to the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity in 2014.

Have a question for Dr. Morse you would like answered? Submit it here!

Thursday, August 18
7 to 8 pm EDT


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