PENGTEK – President Joe Biden said on Sunday that recent cases of monkeypox in Europe and the United States are a cause for concern.

In his first public comment on the disease, Biden added: “It is a concern that if it spreads, it will be a consequence.”

The president was asked about the illness when he spoke to reporters at Asan Air Force Base in South Korea, where he visited troops before flying to Japan to continue his first trip to Asia as president.

“They haven’t told me about the level of impact yet, but that’s something that everyone should be concerned about,” Biden said. He added that work is underway to determine which vaccine may be effective.

Smallpox is rarely detected outside of Africa, but as of Friday, there were 80 confirmed cases worldwide, including at least two in the United States and another 50 suspects.

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Although the disease belongs to the same family of viruses as smallpox, its symptoms are milder. Usually people recover within two to four weeks without the need for hospitalization, but the disease is sometimes fatal.

Megerian reported from Washington.

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