The US is trying to vaccinate contact cases against monkeypox

The United States is preparing to vaccinate people who have been in close contact with monkeypox patients as the country, which now has five probable or confirmed cases, expects their numbers to rise. “We want to maximize the distribution of vaccines to those we know would benefit.”said on Monday, May 23, Jennifer McQuiston, responsible within the CDC. “That means those who have been in contact with a known monkeypox patient, such as caregivers, have very close personal contacts, especially those who are at risk of developing a severe case of the disease.”she said at a press conference.

One case has been confirmed in Massachusetts and four others are being analyzed but considered highly likely (one in New York, one in Florida, two in Utah). All are men who have traveled outside of the United States.

The disease, a less dangerous cousin of smallpox, which was eradicated some forty years ago, begins with a high fever and quickly progresses to a scabbing rash. It is these lesions that allow transmission of the disease in the event of contact.

Two vaccination options, not without risk

What fascinates and worries the experts is the co-occurrence of cases in many countries, particularly in Europe, without being linked to returnees from African countries where the disease is endemic. US authorities confirmed that the sequencing of the virus discovered in Massachusetts matched that identified in a patient in Portugal and that the strain was the one found in West Africa, the less serious of the two in circulation.

Also read: Monkeypox: The WHO believes that the spread “can be stopped in non-endemic countries”, especially in Europe

Most infected people recover spontaneously within two to four weeks without specific treatment. But the American authorities are still preparing the answer. Two smallpox vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can be used. The first, ACAM2000, is a live attenuated vaccine that is not recommended for people with a compromised immune system. The United States has 100 million doses.

Because of side effects “Potentially Significant”which would require widespread dissemination “a real conversation”said Jennifer McQuiston. The second, Jynneos, is also a live but non-replicating vaccine and is therefore considered safer. The United States only has 1,000 cans, but that number should “Gaining weight rapidly in the coming weeks”so the manager.

She says the data shows that both of these vaccines can help prevent the disease from developing if given quickly after exposure. She also emphasized that the risk of infection for the population as a whole remains low.

The world with AFP

Leave a Comment