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If monkeypox spreads, it would be consequential: Joe Biden

FILE PHOTO: An image created during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox, which took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), 1996 to 1997, shows the hands of a patient with a rash due to monkeypox, in this undated image obtained by Reuters on May 18, 2022. CDC/Brian W.J. Mahy/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY./File Photo (via REUTERS)

Joe Biden said, “It is a concern that if it were to spread it would be consequential."

“They haven't told me the level of exposure yet but it is something that everybody should be concerned about."

Although monkeypox is caused by the same virus as smallpox, the symptoms are less severe. People normally recover without needing to be hospitalised in two to four weeks, although the sickness can be fatal in rare cases. Monkeypox is rarely seen outside of Africa, but as of May 20, there were 80 confirmed cases and another 50 probable cases globally, including at least two in the United States.

Scientists who have been tracking monkeypox outbreaks in Africa believe the disease's recent spread in Europe and North America is perplexing.

Previously, cases of the smallpox-related sickness were only seen in people with ties to Central and West Africa. However, infections have been detected in the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the United States, Sweden, and Canada in the last week, largely in young males who have never visited Africa.

So far, no one has perished as a result of the outbreak. Fever, chills, rash, and lesions on the face or genitals are common symptoms of monkeypox. The disease kills up to one in ten people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), but smallpox vaccinations and antiviral medications are being developed.

The first monkeypox case was earlier identified in Israel, which happened to be the first one reported in the Middle East.