I don't know about you but i have become somewhat gun shy about hearing anything that even remotely sounds like “the next pandemic”. Monkey flu, Swollen lip syndrome, and to quote d

Dire Straits, “Betty Davis knees” (from the song Industrial Disease, one of my favorites.) You name it, I'm afraid of it. 

So now we have Alaskapox.  

Alaskapublic.org is reporting,
“A man from the Kenai Peninsula died in late January from the Alaskapox virus, according to the state health department. He was immunocompromised and is the first known person to die from the Alaskapox virus, or AKPV.”   

This disease is very similar to. Smallpox and mpox (also known as monkeypox.) People with compromised immune systems are especially at risk. 

Now before you start freaking out, wearing your mask even when you're alone in your home and demanding “when will the vaccine be ready” Take a deep breath and relax.  

So far since 2015 there have only been 7 human infections. The virus is mostly found in small rodents. As of now, the only known cases have occurred in Alaska. 

Water Voles Are Being Reintroduced Into West Country Waterways
Getty Images

The gentleman who succumbed to the virus was elderly, being treated for cancer and officials say he was immunocompromised, which contributed to his death. 

What do you need to look for? 

According to health.alaska.gov,
“People with Alaskapox have had one or more skin lesions (see photos below) and other symptoms like swollen lymph nodes and joint or muscle pain. Several Alaskapox patients initially thought they had a spider or insect bite. Nearly all patients had mild illnesses that resolved on their own after a few weeks.” 

So now what? 

As I said before, just relax, you know your own body if you're not feeling well, you go to the doctor, right? I'm at a stage in my life that when I'm feeling crappy, I go to see a doctor. I don't sit around and say, "oh, I feel so bad", I get in the car and go.  

Be safe. Stay healthy and be watchful. 

How to protect yourself against West Nile, other mosquite-borne diseases

According to the New Jersey Department of Health, residents should take the following steps to help prevent diseases transmitted by the bite of a mosquito.

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