Medical staff check passengers for symptoms of monkeypox, at Chennai International Airport, India, June 3, 2022 (AFP/Arun Sankar)
US health officials said Friday they had 21 cases of monkeypox in the United States, where the disease may have started to spread locally, and were aware of more than 700 cases worldwide.
Of the cases in the United States, 20 were detected in 11 states, and another was detected and infected overseas.
The vast majority of cases in the United States are related to overseas travel, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the nation’s top federal health agency. But a few others are linked to other known cases in the United States, and for one person, the source of the infection has not been identified at this time.
“There can be local transmission in the population,” Jennifer McCuston, who is responsible for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) response to the disease, warned at a news conference. She reassured, however, that “we continue to believe the public health risks are low.”
She said that so far no deaths associated with these new cases have been recorded in the United States or in the world.
Diagrams of symptoms and data available on monkeypox (AFP/)
Monkeypox is an infectious disease characterized by the appearance of a rash that can be painful, especially if it is on sensitive areas such as the genitals.
Transmission of infection requires close and prolonged contact between two people, and is mainly carried out through saliva or pus from skin lesions formed during infection.
The majority of US cases are recorded in gay men – hence targeted campaigns to raise awareness in this population – but the disease can strike anyone.
“We are working very hard to contain” the disease, so that it does not become epidemic as it is in many African countries, Jennifer McQuiston said.
“The US strategy is focused on identifying cases and the people they have been in contact with, making sure that they are given the vaccine, and that the cases are isolated,” she said. explain.
Two vaccines – called ACAM2000 and Jynneos – have been published along with the antiviral treatment. About 1,200 vaccines and 100 treatments have been sent to eight US jurisdictions, a White House official said.
At the end of May, the United States was said to have 1,000 doses of genus and 100 million of ACAM2000, but those numbers have changed, the CDC said Friday, without wanting details.
“We have enough vaccines to deal with the current epidemic,” said Don O’Connell of the US Department of Health.