More than 700 monkeypox cases globally, 21 in US, says CDC


Washington: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday it was aware of more than 700 global cases of monkeypox, including 21 in the United States, with investigations now suggesting it is spreading inside the country.

According to a new CDC report, 14 were thought to be travel associated.

All patients are in recovery or have recovered, and no cases have been fatal.

“There have also been some cases in the United States that we know are linked to known cases,” Jennifer McQuiston, deputy director of the CDC’s Division of High Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, told reporters on a call.

“We also have at least one case in the United States that does not have a travel link or know how they acquired their infection.”

Monkeypox is a rare disease that is related to but less severe than smallpox, causing a rash that spreads, fever, chills, and aches, among other symptoms.

Generally confined to western and central Africa, cases have been reported in Europe since May and the number of countries affected has grown since.

Canada also released new figures Friday, counting 77 confirmed cases — almost all of them detected in Quebec province, where vaccines have been delivered.

Though its new spread may be linked to particular festivals in Europe, monkeypox is not thought to be a sexually transmitted disease, with the main risk factor being close skin-to-skin contact with someone who has monkey pox sores.

A person is contagious until all the sores have scabbed and new skin is formed.

Raj Panjabi, senior director for the White House’s global health security and biodefense division, added that 1,200 vaccines and 100 treatment courses had been delivered to US states, where they were offered to close contacts of those infected.

There are now two licensed vaccines: ACAM2000 and JYNNEOS, both of which were created to combat smallpox.

Though smallpox has been eradicated, the vaccinations are kept in a strategic national reserve in case it is used as a biological weapon.

JYNNEOS is the more recent vaccination, with fewer adverse effects.

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