1 in 5 Americans fears getting monkeypox, but many know little about it

As COVID cases surge across the United States dominated by a highly transmissible subvariant, the public has voiced concern about the new health threat of monkeypox, according to a new Annenberg Public Policy Center survey.

While 1 in 3 Americans worry about getting COVID-19 in the next three months, according to the July survey, nearly 1 in 5 are concerned about contracting monkeypox, a disease endemic in parts of Africa whose spread to 75 countries across the globe led the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a global health emergency on July 23, days after the survey was completed.

A graph of two lines, header reads How worried are you about contracting monkeypox or COVID-19 in the next three months?
Image: Annenberg Public Policy Center

The nationally representative panel of 1,580 U.S. adults surveyed by SSRS for the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) of the University of Pennsylvania from July 12-18, 2022, was the seventh wave of an Annenberg Science Knowledge (ASK) survey whose respondents were first empaneled in April 2021. The margin of sampling error is ± 3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

The survey answers such questions as: How worried is the public about becoming infected with COVID-19 or monkeypox? Does the public possess basic knowledge about monkeypox? And how widespread is misinformation about monkeypox?

Read more at Annenberg Public Policy Center.