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

America has public health emergency declared After weeks of pressure to do more to stop monkeypox the outbreak. The US leads the world in infections, and demand for the monkeypox vaccine is outpacing supply, with cases nearly doubling in a week in some states.

Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House COVID response coordinator who is assisting on the monkeypox virus response, told “CBS Mornings” that declaring a public health emergency will help accelerate the acquisition of data to track vaccinations, treatments and outbreaks. Will help.

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

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

Dr. Jha said, “The goal is still to eliminate this virus – to keep it under control and eventually eliminate it. In terms of vaccines, we have significantly increased vaccine acquisitions from overseas.” “There’s a small company in Denmark that makes these vaccines. We’ve got more vaccines than the rest of the world. And we’re mainly targeting those vaccines to the community where this virus is spreading. ”

So far most cases have been found in men who have sex with men, but health officials say it can happen to anyone. at least five children and one pregnant woman have contracted the virus.

Monkeypox is mainly spread through skin-to-skin contact or contact with contaminated clothing or bedding, but it can also be spread through prolonged exposure to respiratory droplets.

Dr. Jha stressed that most cases spread through skin-to-skin contact.

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

Although it is rarely fatal, patients say monkeypox is excruciating.

San Francisco was the first major city to declare a public health emergency, and this week, lines formed around the block outside Zuckerberg General Hospital for a vaccine. And in Washington state, some residents are even going to Canada for the shots.

Dr. Jha said that those seeking the vaccine should see their local health department.

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

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