Monkeypox Post-COVID-19: Knowledge, Worrying, and Vaccine Adoption in the Arabic General Population
Background: The outbreak of monkeypox was declared a global public health emergency by the World Health Organization on 23 July 2022. There have been 60,000 cases reported worldwide, most of which are in places where monkeypox has never been seen due to the travel of people who have the virus. This research aims to evaluate the general Arabic population in regard to the monkeypox disease, fears, and vaccine adoption after the WHO proclaimed a monkeypox epidemic and to compare these attitudes to those of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed in some Arabic countries (Syria, Egypt, Qatar, Yemen, Jordan, Sudan, Algeria, and Iraq) between 18 August and 7 September 2022. The inclusion criteria were the general public residing in Arabic nations and being older than 18. This questionnaire has 32 questions separated into three sections: sociodemographic variables, prior COVID-19 exposure, and COVID-19 vaccination history. The second portion assesses the knowledge and anxieties about monkeypox, while the third section includes the generalized anxiety disorder (GAD7) scale. Logistic regression analyses were performed to compute the adjusted odds ratios (aOR) and their confidence intervals (95%CI) using STATA (version 17.0). Results: A total of 3665 respondents from 17 Arabic countries were involved in this study. Almost two-thirds ( n = 2427, 66.2%) of the participants expressed more worry about COVID-19 than monkeypox diseases. Regarding the major cause for concern about monkeypox, 39.5% of participants attributed their anxiety to the fear that they or a member of their family may contract the illness, while 38.4% were concerned about monkeypox becoming another worldwide pandemic. According to the GAD 7 score, 71.7% of the respondents showed very low anxiety toward monkeypox and 43.8% of the participants scored poor levels of knowledge about monkeypox disease. Participants with previous COVID-19 infection showed a 1.206 times greater acceptance to receive the monkeypox vaccine than those with no previous infection. A 3.097 times higher concern for monkeypox than COVID-19 was shown by the participants who perceived monkeypox as dangerous and virulent than those who did not. Participants who have a chronic disease (aOR: 1.32; 95%CI: 1.09–1.60); participants worried about monkeypox (aOR: 1.21; 95%CI: 1.04–1.40), and perceived monkeypox as a dangerous and virulent disease (aOR: 2.25; 95%CI: 1.92–2.65); and excellent knowledge level (aOR: 2.28; 95%CI: 1.79–2.90) have emerged as significant predictors. Conclusions: Our study reported that three-fourths of the participants were more concerned about COVID-19 than monkeypox disease. In addition, most of the participants have inadequate levels of knowledge regarding monkeypox disease. Hence, immediate action should be taken to address this problem. Consequently, learning about monkeypox and spreading information about its prevention is crucial.