More than 100 confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox have been reported in 12 countries, including the United States

More than 100 confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox have been reported in 12 countries, including the United States

Confirmed cases have been identified in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States — which had between one and five confirmed cases of monkeypox as of Saturday. The World Health Organization said.

“The situation is evolving and WHO expects that there will be more monkeypox cases identified as surveillance expands in non-endemic countries,” the press release stated.

Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House’s Covid-19 response coordinator, told ABC he wouldn’t be surprised if the US saw “a few” cases of monkeypox in the coming days.

“But I feel like this is a virus that we understand, we have vaccines against, we have treatments against, and it spreads very differently than SARS-CoV-2” – the virus that causes Covid-19, Jha told ABC’s Martha. Raditz on Sunday.

“It’s not as contagious as Covid. So I’m confident we’ll be able to keep our arms around it,” Jha said. “But we will be tracking that closely and using the tools we have to make sure that we can continue to prevent further spread and take care of infected people.”

Health experts say close contact with an infected person is required to spread the monkeypox virus.

Infection can develop after exposure to “broken skin, mucous membranes, respiratory droplets, infected body fluids or even contact with contaminated linen,” according to Neil Mabbott, personal chair in immunopathology at the University of Edinburgh’s Veterinary School in Scotland.

Although experts say monkeypox is not as contagious as Covid-19, President Joe Biden said everyone should be concerned about the spread of monkeypox — even as scientists work to learn more about the recent outbreak.

“They haven’t told me the level of exposure yet, but it’s something everyone should feel,” Biden told a CNN reporter as he left South Korea on Sunday.

“We’re working hard to find out what we’re doing and what, if any, vaccine might be available for it,” Biden said. “It’s a concern because if it gets published it will be a consequence. That’s all they told me.”

CNN previously reported that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is evaluating whether the smallpox vaccine should be offered to health care workers who treat monkeypox patients and other people who may be “at high risk” of exposure to monkeypox.

The smallpox virus and the monkeypox virus are somewhat related, as both belong to the genus Orthomyxviruses – belonging to the scientific family of “pox” viruses. Therefore, it has also been shown that some vaccines given to prevent smallpox prevent monkeypox.

The initial symptoms of monkeypox are usually flu-like, such as fever, chills, fatigue, headache, and muscle weakness.

“The characteristic that distinguishes monkeypox from that of smallpox is the development of enlarged lymph nodes,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

Then, a widespread rash usually appears on the face and body – including the inside of the mouth, on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.

The painful, raised pox is pearly and fluid-filled, often surrounded by red circles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the lesions eventually peel and disappear within two to three weeks.

Historically, monkeypox cases have typically been reported from West Africa or Central Africa, said Jennifer McQueston, deputy director of the Division of Pathogens and High Outcome Diseases within the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Animal Infectious Diseases.

“We have a level of scientific concern about what we’re seeing because this is a very unusual situation,” McCuston told CNN Thursday.

“We don’t see it in the United States or in Europe – and the number of cases that are being reported is definitely outside the normal range of what we’re seeing,” McCuston said.

A senior British health official told the BBC on Sunday that people should be aware of monkeypox – but the risk to the general public “remains very low at the moment”.

“I think people need to be wary of that,” said Susan Hopkins, chief medical advisor for the UK’s Health Security Agency.

“We really want doctors to be on the alert for that and send the test in if they’re concerned.”

Based on reports from Africa, the Occupational Health and Safety Services Agency (UKHSA) knows that some people are “at higher risk of serious illness, especially immunosuppressed individuals or young children,” Hopkins said.

While “there is no direct vaccine for monkeypox, we use a type of smallpox vaccine or a third generation smallpox vaccine that is safe for individuals in contact with the cases,” Hopkins said.

Sandee LaMotte, Jamie Gumbrecht, Keith Allen, Kevin Liptak, Jacqueline Howard and Martin Goillandeau contributed to this report.

2022-05-23 02:48:00

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