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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, June 1, 2022

Monkeypox Infection
To Fear or Not to Fear?

Commentary by Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD

OMNS (June 1, 2022) As of the writing of this article, multiple news reports have recently addressed the occurrence of monkeypox virus infections in humans. In the current setting of the entire planet dealing with the COVID pandemic over the last two and a half years, fear is readily stoked that another pandemic with a virus that comes from the same family of viruses as smallpox could be poised to inflict widespread suffering and death. This article will present the significant scientific data and literature surrounding monkeypox infection in humans, which clearly demonstrates that the monkeypox virus presents NO threat of a pandemic or even a large epidemic.

Monkeypox Characteristics

Although many have never heard of it until recently, monkeypox infection is not the result of the emergence of a new virus. Rather, it was first identified in captive cynomolgus monkeys in Denmark in 1958. [1] The first documented human infection was reported in 1970 in a 9-month-old in the Congo. After clinically recovering from the infection and its associated rash over a month-long period, this baby then contracted the measles and died six days later. [2] While not found exclusively in remote populations in Central and West Africa, limited monkeypox outbreaks appear to have occurred most commonly in such areas of the world, where advanced malnutrition can potentially make some otherwise benign infections life-threatening. [3] This initial case also serves to highlight the fact that underlying chronic malnutrition with moderate to severely depleted vitamin and mineral stores in those living in such remote areas of Africa literally sets the stage for contracting any infectious disease. Quickly contracting measles upon the resolution of the monkeypox virus is the logical result of such an advanced depletion of nutrients in the body. The typical mild to moderate clinical presentation of the measles can easily evolve into a fatal infection when a chronic state of nutrient depletion is still further depleted by a month-long bout with the monkeypox virus.

Monkeypox cases have only occurred as very limited outbreaks, never as an epidemic or a pandemic. Such an outbreak is a cluster of cases in a given area from a pathogen with a limited contagion risk. An epidemic/pandemic requires a pathogen that is very easily spread. This is not the case with the monkeypox virus. The United States has already had an outbreak of monkeypox infection in 2003, involving 47 human cases felt to be secondary to the importation of infected wild rodents from Ghana. No secondary larger outbreak or epidemic resulted, however. Furthermore, no human-to-human transmission was documented. [4] Typically, while human-to-human transmission is certainly possible, it is the exposure to and/or the consumption of infected animals, as well as their consumption of each other, that both spreads this virus and serves as a reservoir for it. This is an additional reason for its primary presence in Africa, in addition to the overall poor nutrition on much of this continent. [5,6]

Monkeypox is characterized as a zoonotic infection, meaning it can transmit from animal to human, or vice-versa. [7] Asymptomatic monkeypox infections are very common, as over half of the healthy persons in an area of Ghana, which actually had no reported clinical human cases of monkeypox at the time of this study, had positive immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies against the monkeypox virus genus. [8] A similarly large percentage of the healthy residents in a region of the Congo had circulating antibodies as well. [9] Another study in Cameroon found these antibodies in slightly over a third of the subjects tested. [10] This indicates that monkeypox is not typically severe in its clinical course, much less fatal, in any human population. And this would especially be the case in the United States or in a comparable country with a relatively high-quality level of nutrition as well as a relatively widespread intake of vitamin and mineral supplementation.

Ebola, another virus that has been largely limited to African countries, resulted in a substantial outbreak in West Africa from 2014 to 2016, but it never approached pandemic or even significant epidemic proportions. Nevertheless, in the nutrition-depleted populations in which it emerged, death resulted in those individuals demonstrating clinical infection between 25% and 90% of the time, enough to generate a great deal of fear that it could spread and kill easily throughout the world. [11] And even though Ebola killed many who became infected, a substantial number of those individuals exposed developed natural immunity (IgG antibody) response without ever becoming clinically ill. Depending on the location of the African community and the conditions of the testing protocol itself, up to 50% of exposed individuals, including those living with clinically infected individuals, showed the development of natural antibodies to Ebola without ever becoming ill. [12-18] And in spite of the initial fear that was generated, no pandemic, epidemic, or even minor outbreak of Ebola ever occurred in the United States, even though international airline travel reliably introduced infected individuals into the country. [19,20]

Most of the fear currently seen with the potential spread of the monkeypox virus is due to the fact that both monkeypox and smallpox comes from the same genus of DNA viruses. [21] Smallpox has been estimated to have killed between 300 and 500 million people in the 20th century. [22] Understandably, then, anything that is remotely related to smallpox can be expected to generate a great deal of concern.

While the smallpox vaccine is credited for the effective eradication of smallpox, it is also believed by some that waning vaccine immunity is currently leaving over 70% of the world's population unprotected against smallpox, as this vaccine has not been routinely administered since 1980. [23] Some estimates indicate that the smallpox vaccination has offered roughly an 85% protection against monkeypox infection. [24] And since the vaccine immunity against smallpox is felt to be waning, the associated cross-immunity against related viruses like monkeypox is felt to be fading as well. [25]

However, monkeypox is simply not smallpox. The evidence presented above indicates that many asymptomatic infections occur with monkeypox, and that it is far less contagious than smallpox, with human-to-human transmission being decidedly uncommon. Concurrent epidemics or outbreaks of smallpox and monkeypox have not been reported, and smallpox is not a zoonotic infection like monkeypox, but infects humans only. [26]

Finally, in the more well-fed and healthy populations in the world, monkeypox is simply not a killer virus once contracted. The typical clinical course of monkeypox in such populations much more resembles chickenpox than smallpox. Even if the presumed waning protection of the old smallpox vaccinations results in some increase in human monkeypox cases, it will not turn monkeypox into the highly contagious and deadly killer that is smallpox.

Easily Prevented, Readily Resolved

While some viruses are much more contagious and much more capable of causing severe illness and even death than others, they all share therapeutic susceptibilities. As devastating as Ebola has been to many of the individuals in Africa who have contracted it, bio-oxidative treatment readily resolves it as well as any other virus that is treated before too much advanced organ damage has already taken place. At the height of the Ebola scare in 2014, Drs. Robert Rowen and Howard Robins were so convinced of their ability to cure Ebola infections that they put themselves directly in harm's way by traveling to Sierra Leone, a West African epicenter of Ebola infection at that time. Of note, many physicians and other healthcare providers in this area of Africa were dying from the infection at that time.

The primary therapy they used to treat the Ebola patients was ozone. And even though great local resistance was met in gaining access to patients, four individuals were successfully treated with ozone therapy. The cornerstone ozone application was direct intravenous ozone gas injection. Supplemental oral vitamin C therapy was administered as well to address its infection-induced deficiency, to bolster immune function, and to minimize the impact of any possible pro-oxidant Herxheimer-like rapid virus kill-off reactions. All four patients improved immediately after the first treatment and complete resolution of their infections was seen between two to five days. Furthermore, no progression of any Ebola-related symptoms was seen after the first ozone treatments were administered. [27]

Other acute viral syndromes that have initially had much of the world on edge in recent years have also been proven to be readily curable, although not with any known prescription drugs. In 2014, Chikungunya virus received a lot of attention, and some outbreaks with this virus were sizeable, although never really reaching epidemic proportions. This viral infection typically left those infected with debilitating symptoms, often resulting in severe pain in many of the joints in the body. The most immunocompetent individuals would often resolve their most severe symptoms in about a week, but in some the joint pain would become chronic and last as long as five years. Separate one-time intravenous infusions with two bio-oxidative agents (vitamin C and hydrogen peroxide) in 56 patients were highly effective in both completely resolving this viral infection, as well as in immediately alleviating much of the chronic pain that remained long after the acute phase of the infection. [28] Treatment with just high-dose vitamin C intravenously (as much as 100 grams daily) in the acute stage of viral infection with Chikungunya, influenza, Zika, and dengue has also been reported to be similarly curative. [29-32]

In a nutshell, unless the patient has advanced organ damage and is very near death, intravenous vitamin C, in sufficient doses, can always be expected to save the patient from succumbing to an advanced infection, especially viral. As the primary electron-donating nutrient in the body, enough vitamin C must be administered to both neutralize the new, ongoing infection-derived pro-oxidants (toxins) while restoring (reducing) the physiological function of those biomolecules that have already been oxidized. A sizeable number of integrative medicine practitioners who appreciate the therapeutic value of IV vitamin C remain needlessly wary of 50- to 100-gram infusions of vitamin C. This unnecessary caution too often results in a total daily dose of vitamin C of 25 grams or less that proves insufficient to save the patient with severe and widespread oxidative damage secondary to an advanced infection. Nevertheless, even such lower doses can oftentimes suffice, just not as reliably so.

The experience at the Riordan Clinic alone in Wichita, Kansas clearly establishes the safety (and efficacy) of even the highest dosing regimens of vitamin C on a routine basis. Over the past 32 years, over 150,000 intravenous infusions of vitamin C have been administered at Riordan campuses. Doses have varied from 7.5 to 250 grams daily, with 50 grams being the most common dose administered. NO significant adverse side effects have occurred, and NO kidney stones have resulted. For more information on the vitamin C-related research and results of the Riordan Clinic, see: https://riordanclinic.org/journal-articles/.

The primary bio-oxidative therapies (vitamin C, hydrogen peroxide, ozone, ultraviolet blood irradiation, and hyperbaric oxygen) have all been shown to eradicate any viral infections for which they have been properly administered. As noted above, intravenous ozone can promptly resolve even an advanced viral infection whenever access to it is available. Properly-dosed intravenous hydrogen peroxide is comparably effective, and as long as the healthcare practitioner is willing to use it, its expense is nominal and it is available literally everywhere. Vitamin C, ultraviolet blood irradiation, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy are incredibly effective as well, but less available and anywhere from slightly to substantially more expensive to apply than the hydrogen peroxide and/or the ozone therapies. These therapies, along with other supportive antipathogenic measures, are discussed in greater detail elsewhere. [33]

Another great option for dealing with any virus once contracted is a combination vitamin C-cortisol approach, especially when the intravenous administration of bio-oxidative agents is not readily available, if at all. A sizeable oral dose of vitamin C (3 to 5 grams, liposome-encapsulated or as sodium ascorbate powder) along with 20 mg of cortisol (hydrocortisone) is dramatically effective in its clinical impact, often resulting in a prompt cessation of infection evolution followed shortly thereafter by complete resolution. As a very general guideline, the vitamin C/cortisol should be taken three times daily until baseline health is restored. Complete clinical resolution is typically seen in 12 to 36 hours. A more prolonged treatment plan is only required when the pathogen has had a longer time to replicate and clinical illness is more pronounced when therapy is initiated. [34,35]

Recap

Monkeypox virus should never be confused with smallpox, even though the viruses have some common family roots. Smallpox is a human infection, and monkeypox is primarily limited to infections in susceptible animal populations. When monkeypox does infect a human, its clinical course is little more than that of a typical case of chickenpox, as long as the infected individual is not grossly malnourished. And even in populations with significant nutrient depletion, monkeypox is very often a completely asymptomatic infection, as high levels of protective antibodies to monkeypox have been documented in significant percentages of these populations. Also, unlike smallpox, monkeypox has both a very low level of contagion and only rarely results in a fatal outcome, even in the most susceptible of populations.

A good level of nutrition, along with judicious supplementation with vitamins and minerals, will almost completely prevent the transmission of monkeypox, from either an infected animal or human. And when it is contracted, the application of any of a number of bio-oxidative and other therapies will give a rapid resolution to this infection. This ease of prevention and susceptibility to rapid cure should be kept in mind before deciding to proceed directly with any monkeypox vaccinations that end up being offered to the public.


References

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2. Ladnyj I, Ziegler P, Kima E (1972) A human infection caused by monkeypox virus in Basankusu Territory, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 46:593-597. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/4340218

3. Beer E, Rao V (2019) A systematic review of the epidemiology of human monkeypox outbreaks and implications for outbreak strategy. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 13:e0007791. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31618206

4. Reynolds M, Davidson W, Curns A et al. (2007) Spectrum of infection and risk factors for human monkeypox, United States, 2003. Emerging Infectious Diseases 13:1332-1339. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18252104

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6. Patrono L, Pleh K, Samuni L et al. (2020) Monkeypox virus emergence in wild chimpanzees reveals distinct clinical outcomes and viral diversity. Nature Microbiology 5:955-965. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32341480

7. Eltvedt A, Christiansen M, Poulsen A (2020) A case report of monkeypox in a 4-year-old boy from the DR Congo: challenges of diagnosis and management. Case Reports in Pediatrics 2020:8572596. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32328334

8. Reynolds M, Carroll D, Olson V et al. (2010) A silent enzootic of an orthopoxvirus in Ghana, West Africa: evidence for multi-species involvement in the absence of widespread human disease. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 82:746-754. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20348530

9. Lederman E, Reynolds M, Karem K et al. (2007) Prevalence of antibodies against orthopoxviruses among residents of Likouala region, Republic of Congo: evidence for monkeypox virus exposure. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 77:1150-1156. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18165539

10. Guagliardo S, Monroe B, Moundjoa C et al. (2020) Asymptomatic orthopoxvirus circulation in humans in the wake of a monkeypox outbreak among chimpanzees in Cameroon. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 102:206-212. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31769389

11. Nyakarahuka L, Kankya C, Krontveit R et al. (2016) How severe and prevalent are Ebola and Marburg viruses? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the case fatality rates and seroprevalence. BMC Infectious Diseases 16:708. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27887599

12. Baxter A (2000) Symptomless infection with Ebola virus. The Lancet 355:2178-2179. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10881884

13. Mulangu S, Borchert M, Paweska J et al. (2016) High prevalence of IgG antibodies to Ebola virus in the Efe' pygmy population in the Watsa region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. BMC Infectious Diseases 16:263. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27286990

14. Mafopa N, Russo G, Wadoum R et al. (2017) Seroprevalence of Ebola virus infection in Bombali District, Sierra Leone. Journal of Public Health in Africa 8:732. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29456826

15. Mbala P, Baguelin M, Ngay I et al. (2017) Evaluating the frequency of asymptomatic Ebola virus infection. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences 372:20160303. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28396474

16. Timothy J, Hall Y, Akoi-Bore J et al. (2019) Early transmission and case fatality of Ebola virus at the index site of the 2013-2016 West African Ebola outbreak: a cross-sectional seroprevalence survey. The Lancet. Infectious Diseases 19:429-438. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30799252

17. Bratcher A, Hoff N, Doshi R et al. (2021) Zoonotic risk factors associated with seroprevalence of Ebola virus GP antibodies in the absence of diagnosed Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 15:e0009566. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34383755

18. Manno D, Ayieko P, Ishola D et al. (2022) Ebola virus glycoprotein IgG seroprevalence in community previously affected by Ebola, Sierra Leone. Emerging Infectious Diseases 28:734-738. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35202536

19. Fairley J, Kozarsky P, Kraft C et al. (2016) Ebola or not? Evaluating the ill traveler from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa. Open Forum Infectious Diseases 3:ofw005. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26925428

20. Rauch S, Jasny E, Schmidt K, Petsch B (2018) New vaccine technologies to combat outbreak situations. Frontiers in Immunology 9:1963. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30283434

21. Babkin I, Babkina I, Tikunova N (2022) An update of orthopoxvirus molecular evolution. Viruses 14:388. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35215981

22. Muhlemann B, Vinner L, Margaryan A et al. (2020) Diverse variola virus (smallpox) strains were widespread in northern Europe in the Viking Age. Science 369:eaaw8977. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32703849

23. Rao A, Schulte J, Chen T et al. (2022) Monkeypox in a traveler returning from Nigeria-Dallas, Texas, July 2021. MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 71:509-516. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35389974

24. Fine P, Jezek Z, Grab B, Dixon H (1988) The transmission potential of monkeypox virus in human populations. International Journal of Epidemiology 17:643-650. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2850277

25. Simpson K, Heymann D, Brown C et al. (2020) Human monkeypox-after 40 years, an unintended consequence of smallpox eradication. Vaccine 38:5077-5081. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32417140

26. Grant R, Nguyen L, Breban R (2020) Modelling human-to-human transmission of monkeypox. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 98:638-640. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33012864

27. Rowen R, Robins H, Carew K et al. (2016) Rapid resolution of hemorrhagic fever (Ebola) in Sierra Leone with ozone therapy. African Journal of Infectious Diseases 10:49-54. https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajid/article/view/126773

28. Marcial-Vega V, Gonzalez-Terron G, Levy T (2015) Intravenous ascorbic acid and hydrogen peroxide in the management of patients with Chikungunya. Boletin de la Asociacion Medica de Puerto Rico 107:20-24. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26035980

29. Gonzalez M, Miranda-Massari J, Berdiel M et al. (2014) High dose intravenous vitamin C and Chikungunya fever: a case report. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine volume 29. https://isom.ca/wp-content/uploads/High-Dose-Intraveneous-Vitamin-C-and-Chikungunya-Fever-A-Case-Report-29.4.pdf

30. Gonzalez M, Berdiel M, Miranda-Massari J et al. (2016) High dose intravenous vitamin C treatment for Zika fever. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine volume 31. https://isom.ca/wp-content/uploads/High-Dose-Intravenous-Vitamin-C-Treatment-for-Zika-Fever-31.1.pdf

31. Gonzalez M, Berdiel M, Duconje J et al. (2018) High dose intravenous vitamin C and influenza: a case report. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine volume 33. https://isom.ca/article/high-dose-vitamin-c-influenza-case-report/

32. Miranda-Massari J, Toro A, Loh D et al. (2021) The effects of vitamin C on the multiple pathophysiological stages of COVID-19. Life 11:1341. PMID: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34947872/

33. Levy T (2021) Rapid Virus Recovery: No need to live in fear! Chapter 10. Henderson, NV: MedFox Publishing. Free download available here: https://www.rvr.medfoxpub.com/

34. Levy T (2021) http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v17n28.shtml

35. Levy T (2022) http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v18n06.shtml

The views presented in this article are the author's and not necessarily those of all members of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service Editorial Review Board.


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Editorial Review Board:

Albert G. B. Amoa, MB.Ch.B, Ph.D. (Ghana)
Seth Ayettey, M.B., Ch.B., Ph.D. (Ghana)
Ilyès Baghli, M.D. (Algeria)
Ian Brighthope, MBBS, FACNEM (Australia)
Gilbert Henri Crussol, D.M.D. (Spain)
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. (USA)
Ian Dettman, Ph.D. (Australia)
Susan R. Downs, M.D., M.P.H. (USA)
Ron Ehrlich, B.D.S. (Australia)
Hugo Galindo, M.D. (Colombia)
Martin P. Gallagher, M.D., D.C. (USA)
Michael J. Gonzalez, N.M.D., D.Sc., Ph.D. (Puerto Rico)
William B. Grant, Ph.D. (USA)
Claus Hancke, MD, FACAM (Denmark)
Tonya S. Heyman, M.D. (USA)
Patrick Holford, BSc (United Kingdom)
Suzanne Humphries, M.D. (USA)
Ron Hunninghake, M.D. (USA)
Bo H. Jonsson, M.D., Ph.D. (Sweden)
Dwight Kalita, Ph.D. (USA)
Felix I. D. Konotey-Ahulu, MD, FRCP, DTMH (Ghana)
Jeffrey J. Kotulski, D.O. (USA)
Peter H. Lauda, M.D. (Austria)
Alan Lien, Ph.D. (Taiwan)
Homer Lim, M.D. (Philippines)
Stuart Lindsey, Pharm.D. (USA)
Pedro Gonzalez Lombana, MD, MsC, PhD (Colombia)
Victor A. Marcial-Vega, M.D. (Puerto Rico)
Juan Manuel Martinez, M.D. (Colombia)
Mignonne Mary, M.D. (USA)
Jun Matsuyama, M.D., Ph.D. (Japan)
Joseph Mercola, D.O. (USA)
Jorge R. Miranda-Massari, Pharm.D. (Puerto Rico)
Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada, M.D. (Finland)
Tahar Naili, M.D. (Algeria)
W. Todd Penberthy, Ph.D. (USA)
Zhiyong Peng, M.D. (China)
Isabella Akyinbah Quakyi, Ph.D. (Ghana)
Selvam Rengasamy, MBBS, FRCOG (Malaysia)
Jeffrey A. Ruterbusch, D.O. (USA)
Gert E. Schuitemaker, Ph.D. (Netherlands)
Han Ping Shi, M.D., Ph.D. (China)
T.E. Gabriel Stewart, M.B.B.CH. (Ireland)
Thomas L. Taxman, M.D. (USA)
Jagan Nathan Vamanan, M.D. (India)
Garry Vickar, M.D. (USA)
Ken Walker, M.D. (Canada)
Anne Zauderer, D.C. (USA)

Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D. (USA), Editor-In-Chief
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Contributing Editor: Thomas E. Levy, M.D., J.D. (USA)
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