Monkeypox threat does not rise to COVID-19 levels

TOKYO — President Joe Biden on Monday tried to allay concerns over recent cases of monkeypox identified in Europe and the United States, saying he sees no need to impose strict quarantine measures.

A day after saying the virus was something “to be concerned about,” Biden said in Tokyo, “I just don’t think it reaches the level of concern that COVID-19 has.”

Monkeypox is rarely identified outside of Africa. But as of Friday, there were 80 confirmed cases worldwide, including at least two in the United States, and another 50 suspected cases. A suspected case of monkeypox, which state health officials said appeared to be linked to international travel, was also under investigation in South Florida’s Broward County on Sunday.

Although the disease belongs to the same virus family as smallpox, its symptoms are milder. Patients usually recover within two to four weeks without requiring hospitalization, but the disease is occasionally fatal.

Biden said the smallpox vaccine works for monkeypox. When asked if the US has enough stocks of this vaccine to handle the spread of monkeypox, Biden said, “I think we have enough to deal with the likelihood of a problem.” Monkeypox threat does not rise to COVID-19 levels


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