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



CNN

More cases of a rare disease have been reported around the world, including the United States, where a health official said he expects more cases in the coming days.

On Saturday, 92 confirmed cases and 28 suspected cases of monkeypox were under investigation in 12 countries, the World Health Organization said in a press release.

Confirmed cases have been identified in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States, with between one and five cases of smallpox confirmed on Saturday. ‘WHO. dit.

“The situation is evolving and the WHO expects more cases of smallpox to be identified as surveillance is extended to non-endemic countries,” the press release said.

Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House’s Covid-19 response coordinator, told the ABC that he would not be surprised if the United States saw “a few more” cases of monkeypox in the coming days.

“But I think this is a virus that we understand, we have vaccines against it, we have treatments for it and it spreads very differently to SARS-CoV-2,” the virus that causes Covid-19, Jha told Martha Raddatz of ABC. Sunday.

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

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

The infection can develop after exposure to “broken skin, mucous membranes, respiratory droplets, infected body fluids or even contact with contaminated clothing,” according to Neil Mabbott, a professor of immunopathology at the Veterinary School of the United States. University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

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

“I haven’t been told the level of exposure yet, but it’s something that should concern everyone,” Biden told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins as he left South Korea on Sunday.

“We’re working hard to find out what we do and what vaccine, if any, might be available,” Biden said. “It simply came to our notice then. That’s all they told me. ”

CNN previously reported that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is evaluating whether to offer a smallpox vaccine to health care workers who treat smallpox patients and others who may be at high risk. “smallpox exposure.

The smallpox virus that causes smallpox and the smallpox virus are closely related, as they are both members of the genus Orthopoxvirus, which belongs to the scientific family of “pox” viruses. Therefore, it has also been shown that some of the same vaccines that are given to prevent smallpox prevent smallpox.

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

“One feature that distinguishes monkeypox infection from smallpox infection is the development of swollen lymph nodes,” the CDC said.

After that, a rash usually appears on the face and body, including the inside of the mouth, the palms of the hands, and the soles of the feet.

Painful, high warts are pearly and full of fluid, often surrounded by red circles. The injuries eventually build up and resolve within two to three weeks, the CDC said.

Historically, cases of monkeypox have typically been reported in West or Central Africa, said Jennifer McQuiston, deputy director of the Division of Pathogens and Highly Impaired Pathology at the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.

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

“We don’t see it in the United States or in Europe, and the number of cases being reported is definitely out of the ordinary for what we would see,” McQuiston said.

A senior UK health official told the BBC on Sunday that people should be aware of the monkey’s smallpox, but that the risk to the general population “is being extremely low right now”.

“I think people need to be alert,” said Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser to the UK Health Security Agency.

“We really want doctors to be alert and send the test if they are concerned.”

Hopkins said, based on reports from Africa, the UKHSA knows that certain people are “much more at risk for serious illness, especially immunosuppressed people or young children.”

Although “there is no direct vaccine for monkeypox,” Hopkins said, “we are using a form of smallpox vaccine or a third-generation vaccine that is safe for people who are in contact with cases.” .

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