After one case of monkeypox has been confirmed and there have been several suspected cases, the U.S. government is releasing some of the country’s monkeypox vaccine from the Strategic National Stockpile.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the release.
“I can report that there has been a request for release of the Jynneos vaccine from the National Stockpile for some of the high-risk contacts of some of the early patients, so that is actively happening right now,” Dr. Jennifer McQuinston said, according to CNN.
McQuiston is deputy director of the Divison of High Consequence Pathogens and Pathology at the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.
She said that the U.S. has a “good stock” of 1,000 doses since it has been preparing for a possible smallpox outbreak.
Jynneos is the two-dose vaccine that is licensed for use against smallpox and monkeypox, CNN reported.
The company that makes Jynneos, Bavarian Nordic, said that it has received calls from dozens of countries asking about the vaccine’s availability. Paul Chaplin, CEO of Bavarian Nordic said stocks are limited but the company can make more and will be able to meet demand, The Wall Street Journal reported.
ACAM2000 is a second vaccine that is cleared for use in the U.S. that also can be used to prevent monkeypox. There are more than 100 million doses of that brand, however, it has significant side effects and would have to be discussed before being used, McQuiston said, according to CNN.
The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that there are 131 cases of monkeypox confirmed worldwide, with an additional 106 suspected cases, Reuters reported.
The WHO said the outbreak is unusual but it is “containable” and limited.
Monkeypox is typically a mild viral infection that is endemic in west and central Africa.
It spreads through close contact.
The WHO believes the illness has not mutated but is being spread because behavior is changing as people return to socializing after the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, Reuters reported.
Monkeypox was discovered in 1958 and was named after a pox-like disease that happened in colonies of monkeys that were used for research.
It was first found in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and then spread to other African nations.
It is incredibly rare for someone to be diagnosed in the U.S. because monkeypox is not naturally occurring in America, so cases were either caused by international travel or the importation of animals from areas where the disease is found, the CDC said.
There was an outbreak attributed to animal imports in 2003 where 47 people had either confirmed or probable cases in the U.S. They had come in contact with pet prairie dogs from Ghana.
There were also two separate cases in 2021 and both were travel-related, the CDC said.
The early symptoms of monkeypox include:
- Muscle aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
One to three days, or sometimes longer, after the fever begins, the person will have a rash that typically starts on the face and then spreads.
The rash has the following progression before lesions fall off:
Monkeypox lasts about two to four weeks, the CDC said.
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