TOKYO – President Joe Biden on Monday sought to allay concerns about recent cases of monkeypox that have been detected in Europe and the United States, saying he sees no need to impose strict quarantine measures.
Speaking in Tokyo the day after he said the virus is something to worry about, “Biden said:” I just don’t think it’s rising to the level of concern that has existed since COVID-19. “
Smallpox is rarely found 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. One alleged case of monkeypox, which health officials said was linked to international travel, was also investigated Sunday in Broward County, South Florida.
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.
Biden said the smallpox vaccine works against monkeypox. Asked whether the U.S. has enough supplies of this vaccine to deal with the spread of monkeypox, Biden said: “I think we have enough to deal with the likelihood of a problem.”
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