To close contacts: US distributes monkeypox vaccine

So far, only one case of monkeypox has been confirmed in the United States, but it's not likely to stay that way.

To close contacts: US distributes monkeypox vaccine

So far, only one case of monkeypox has been confirmed in the United States, but it's not likely to stay that way. In order to slow down the spread of the virus, the health authority is preparing to issue vaccines. However, mass vaccinations are currently not planned.

The US is preparing to vaccinate close contacts of infected people against monkeypox. "Right now, we're hoping to get the vaccine distributed as widely as possible to those we know would benefit," said Jennifer McQuiston of the CDC. In addition to contact persons, these are also health care workers and “those who are at high risk of serious illness”. According to the CDC, more than 1,000 doses of the drug Jynneos are currently in stock. This number is likely to increase significantly in the coming weeks

According to CDC epidemiologist John Brooks, people who have a weakened immune system or who have certain skin conditions, such as eczema, are at greater risk. According to current knowledge, it is evident that men who have sex with men are the most likely to be infected. However, the CDC emphasized that the risk of infection does not just extend to gay men. The United States currently has around a thousand doses of smallpox and monkeypox vaccines, according to the CDC. However, McQuiston announced "very quick" further deliveries.

So far there has been one confirmed infection and four suspected cases in the USA. Dozens of infections are already known in Europe, and there are also a few confirmed cases in Germany. In addition to the USA, Great Britain, for example, is also stocking up on vaccine supplies.

There is no specific treatment for monkeypox. However, the normal smallpox vaccination is 85 percent preventive. According to the Federal Ministry of Health in Berlin, the extent to which smallpox vaccination should be recommended for contact persons and risk groups is currently being clarified internationally at the specialist level.

Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, and a rash that often starts on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body. Most people recover within a few weeks. According to the current state of research, close physical contact is required for transmission, for example through the exchange of bodily fluids. A droplet infection through sneezing or speaking is therefore unlikely. According to health authorities, the risk to the general public from monkeypox is extremely low.

The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasized that it currently sees no need for mass vaccination. Measures such as hygiene and preventive sexual behavior would help contain the spread of the virus, Richard Pebody, head of the pathogen team at WHO Europe, told Reuters. The most important measures to combat the outbreak are tracing contacts and isolating those who are infected. Vaccine stocks are relatively limited.

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