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Monkeypox very serious, but no reason for widespread alarm, White House doctor says

The United States has Declare a public health emergency After weeks of pressure to do more to stop monkeypox outbreak. The United States leads the world in infections, and demand for the monkeypox vaccine is outstripping supply, with cases doubling nearly weekly in some states.

White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha, who is helping with the monkeypox response, told CBS Mornings that declaring a public health emergency would help expedite vaccinations, treatment, and access to data to track outbreaks.

“Fortunately, no one has died, so we are still at a point in this outbreak where I think that while it is very serious, it is not a cause for widespread concern,” Dr Jha said.

US cases topped 7,100, with six states reporting more than 500 confirmed cases.

“The goal is still to eradicate this virus – to control it and eventually eliminate it,” said Dr. Jha. “And in terms of vaccines, we have greatly enhanced access to the vaccine from abroad.” “There’s only one small company in Denmark that makes these vaccines. We’ve got more vaccines than the rest of the world combined. And we’re mainly targeting those vaccines in the community where this virus is spreading.”

The vast majority of cases so far have been found among men who have sex with men, but health officials stress that anyone can catch them. At least five children and pregnant woman They contracted the virus.

Monkeypox is transmitted primarily through skin-to-skin contact or exposure to contaminated clothing or bedding, but can also be spread through close, prolonged exposure to respiratory droplets.

Dr. Jha confirmed that most cases are transmitted through skin-to-skin contact.

“There is a theoretical risk and then there is reality,” he said. “Ninety-eight percent of the cases so far have been among gay and bisexual men. It is spread largely through prolonged skin contact.”

While it is rarely fatal, patients say monkeypox is painful.

San Francisco was the first major city to declare a public health emergency, and this week, lines formed around the building outside Zuckerberg General Hospital for a vaccine. And in Washington state, some residents drive to Canada to take pictures.

Dr. said. Jha Those seeking to get vaccinated should look to their local health department.

“Almost every state has a website on monkeypox, you can go to that, and it will tell you where the vaccines are available,” he said.

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