As the business and political elite gathered in Davos, Switzerland, this week for the first in-person World Economic Forum since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, global health concerns once again loomed heavy.
A mysterious recent outbreak of monkeypox — a rare viral infection endemic to Africa — has confounded doctors and scientists as cases have surged across Europe, North America, Australia and the Middle East.
As of Wednesday, at least 237 confirmed and suspected cases of the disease have been reported globally — double the number recorded at the start of the Davos conference Monday. Symptoms typically include rashes, fever, headaches, muscle ache, swelling and backpain.
But business leaders at the conference said they don’t see the virus posing a risk anywhere close to that of the coronavirus pandemic.
‘I wouldn’t worry much’
The CEO of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said Wednesday that he “wouldn’t worry much” about the spike in cases, noting that current data suggests monkeypox doesn’t transmit as easily as other viruses such as Covid-19.
“With everything I know, I wouldn’t worry much,” Albert Bourla told CNBC, adding that some treatments already exist to minimize the impact of the virus.