President Biden raised the alarm on Sunday about monkeypox, a viral infection fast spreading world wide, and warned that the disease, which will be spread as easily as through handling a contaminated object, is something “that everyone ought to be concerned about.”
Monkeypox, rarely seen outside Africa, has been present in recent weeks in Europe and the USA.
As of Saturday, 92 cases and 28 suspected cases had been identified in 12 countries outside of those African nations where it’s endemic, in keeping with the World Health Organization. There was one confirmed case in the USA — a person in Boston was diagnosed last week — but public health officials imagine case numbers will soon increase.
Though only occasionally fatal, the speed at which the monkeypox virus is spreading has raised fears of one other pandemic that will further strain health systems already stretched thin by Covid-19.
“They haven’t told me the extent of exposure yet, but it surely is something that everyone ought to be concerned about,” Mr. Biden said at Osan Air Base in South Korea, where he met with American troops before flying to Japan during his first official visit to Asia as president. “We’re working on it hard to determine what we do and what vaccine could also be available.”
He added, “But it surely is a priority within the sense that if it were to spread it might be consequential.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there may be “no proven, protected treatment” for monkeypox, however the Food and Drug Administration has approved using smallpox vaccines and antiviral treatments to assist control outbreaks.
Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House Covid-19 response coordinator, said afterward Sunday that the USA had the resources, including the smallpox vaccines, to maintain the virus at bay.
“I’m confident we’re going to find a way to maintain our arms around it,” Dr. Jha said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”
“We’re going to trace it very closely and use the tools we’ve to make certain that we proceed to forestall further spread and maintain the individuals who get infected,” he said.
Two smallpox vaccines are approved to be used in the USA, they usually are generally effective at stopping monkeypox infection as well. (One is specifically approved for that purpose.) America has stockpiled hundreds of thousands of doses to be used in a possible outbreak.
A lot of the cases outside Africa have been present in Britain, Spain and Portugal. On Sunday, Austria reported its first case.
The case reported last week in Boston was the primary in the USA in nearly 20 years. The person who got unwell had recently traveled to Canada, which has had two cases this yr.
What to Know Concerning the Monkeypox Virus
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What’s monkeypox? Monkeypox is a virus endemic in parts of Central and West Africa. It’s a more benign version of smallpox. It was discovered in 1958, after outbreaks occurred in monkeys kept for research, in keeping with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What are the symptoms? Monkeypox creates a rash that starts with flat red marks that turn into raised and full of pus. Infected people may even have a fever and body aches. Symptoms typically appear in six to 13 days but can take so long as three weeks after exposure to point out, and can last for 2 to 4 weeks. Health officials say smallpox vaccines and other treatments will be used to manage an outbreak.
How infectious is it? The virus spreads through body fluids, skin contact and respiratory droplets. Typically it doesn’t result in major outbreaks, though it has spread in unusual ways this yr, and amongst populations which have not been vulnerable up to now.
Should I be apprehensive? The likelihood of the virus being spread during sexual contact is high, but the chance of transmission in othe ways is low. Most individuals have mild symptoms and get better inside weeks, however the virus will be fatal in a small percentage of cases.
America saw a monkeypox outbreak of dozens of cases in 2003. All were believed to have resulted from exposure to infected prairie dogs and other pets.
The virus can spread via body fluids, contaminated objects and skin contact, or through respiratory droplets expelled by an infected person.
Latest York City health authorities said on Friday that that they had tested two patients who were under investigation for possible monkeypox.
Monkeypox creates a rash that starts with flat red marks that turn into raised and full of pus. Infected people may even have a fever and body aches.
Symptoms typically appear in six to 13 days but can take so long as three weeks after exposure. They will last for 2 to 4 weeks, with severe cases occurring more commonly amongst children, in keeping with the World Health Organization.
Daniel Victor and Apoorva Mandavilli contributed reporting.