New Low-Literacy Mpox Resource, in English & Spanish
Mpox is an emerging crisis that has recently been acknowledged as a public health emergency by the White House and the World Health Organization. The virus has spread primarily in urban areas and has disproportionately harmed men who have sex with men, but that does not mean that other populations are not vulnerable to the virus. This virus can be spread through any form of skin-to-skin contact, including prolonged touching or intimacy with someone who has Mpox. As of September 8th, the United States has 21,274 cases of Mpox according to the CDC.
Despite months of Mpox-related news, very little low-literacy multilingual content has been developed. In this information vacuum, misinformation has begun to spread, including the false rumor that links Mpox to COVID-19 vaccines. While these two public health crises are separate, we can apply what we have learned from COVID-19 to fight this new threat, using improved public health messaging that is relatable to local communities and encouraging quarantine strategies that were proven effective to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We can also utilize partnerships developed during COVID-19 to effectively push out public health messages to communities, like migrant and immigrant communities, who are often left out.
To combat misinformation and increase access to quality updated information, Migrant Clinicians Network released a simple resource in English and Spanish that helps explain the spread of Mpox, as well as identifying symptoms and isolation strategies for those who may be infected. Upon hearing community concerns about COVID-19 vaccines being connected to Mpox, we decided to make this low literacy resource. We aim to make it clear that this is a separate public health crisis with no connection to COVID-19 while presenting important information about Mpox for vulnerable communities in both English and Spanish.
While Mpox vaccines do exist, they are not yet widely available. Additionally, some are concerned about stigma related to getting the vaccine. Poor public health messaging is pushing forward the incorrect assertion that only LGBTQ+ men are vulnerable to this virus.
MCN’s new resource addresses this concern by emphasizing that everyone can be impacted, and that we all need to understand the symptoms and signs to fight the spread. The two-page resource, available in English and Spanish, is now viewable and downloadable on our website.