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 recorded between one and five confirmed cases of monkeypox on Saturday. This was stated by the World Health Organization.

“The situation is evolving and WHO expects to identify more monkeypox cases as surveillance expands in non-endemic countries,” the press release said.

Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House’s Covid-19 response coordinator, told ABC he wouldn’t be surprised if the US sees “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 is not as contagious as Covid. So I’m confident we can wrap our arms around it,” Jha said. “But we’ll monitor that closely and use the tools we have to ensure that we continue to prevent further spread and continue to care for infected people.”

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

Infection can develop after exposure to “broken skin, mucous membranes, respiratory droplets, contaminated bodily fluids or even contact with contaminated linens,” said Neil Mabout, personal head of immunopathology at the University of Edinburgh’s veterinary school in Scotland.

While 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.

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“They haven’t told me how high the exposure is yet, but it’s something everyone should feel,” Biden told CNN while leaving South Korea on Sunday.

“We’re working hard to see what we’re doing and what, if any, vaccine might be available,” Biden said. “It is a concern because if it is published there will be consequences. That is 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 professionals treating monkeypox patients and other people at “high risk” of exposure to monkeypox.

Smallpox virus and monkeypox virus are related to some extent, as they belong to the genus cardioviruses – 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 feature that distinguishes monkeypox from smallpox is the development of swollen lymph nodes,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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

Painful, raised pox is pearly and fluid-filled, often surrounded by red circles. The CDC said the lesions eventually flake and disappear after two to three weeks.

Historically, cases of monkeypox have typically been reported from West Africa or Central Africa, Jennifer McCuston, deputy director of the Division of Pathogenesis and High Outcome Pathology within the National Center for Emerging and Zoonoses Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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

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“We don’t see it in the United States or in Europe – and the number of reported cases 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 should be wary of that,” said Susan Hopkins, chief medical advisor for the UK’s Health Security Agency.

“We really want doctors to be aware of this 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 greater risk of serious illness, especially immunocompromised individuals or young children,” Hopkins said.

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

Sandy Lamott, Jimmy Gombrecht, Keith Allen, Kevin Liptak, Jacqueline Howard and Martin Guilando contributed to this report.

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