Monkeypox: Looking At Media Coverage In The Month Before The UK's Announcement

What did media coverage of monkeypox look like in the month before the United Kingdom announced a traveler from Nigeria had been diagnosed with the disease? The disease received a steady small-bore level of coverage, with at least one article every few days. Coverage largely fell into two categories: reporting on the disease's spread in Africa and announcements from pharmaceutical companies on their monkeypox vaccine efforts.

Much how Ebola suddenly received global attention when it spread to the US, in a similar vein, the sudden global interest in monkeypox lies not in its sudden appearance, but rather in its spread to the US and Europe from areas where it has historically been endemic. In the DRC, an article on March 31st reported that 704 cases had been reported in the first two months of 2022 and more than 10,000 infections and 342 deaths since the start of 2020. In Nigeria, an AllAfrica article from April 15th reported that 37 inmates in a correctional facility had been infected. On April 8th, an article reported on the CDC's analysis of a 2021 monkeypox case in Dallas. An April 8th press release by Africa CDC announced a cohort of EPI-Biostat Fellows and the importance of combatting monkeypox.

Other media coverage was devoted to announcements from pharmaceutical companies on vaccine efforts targeting monkeypox. On April 5th, Bavarian Nordic announced it would be releasing its 2022 first quarter results, touting its monkeypox vaccine, while on the 24th it announced share transactions by management, again touting in its boilerplate announcement its monkeypox vaccine. Tonix Pharmaceuticals announced on April 5th a collaboration with Kansas State University on Covid-19 vaccine research, with its press release referencing its monkeypox vaccine work.