EEUU. Announces New Measures Against Smallpox Epidemic

In the face of an unexpected increase in the outbreak of monkeypox, it is recommended to be vaccinated


R. Gelfenstein - In response to a surprising and growing outbreak of smallpox, U.S. health officials on Tuesday expanded the pool of people who were advised to get vaccinated against the virus.

In addition, they said they will increase the distribution of smallpox vaccines and strive to expand the application of diagnostic tests, among other measures to combat the epidemic.

Most smallpox patients only experience fever, body aches, chills, and fatigue. People with more serious illnesses may develop rashes and injuries to the face and hands, which can spread to other parts of the body.

"We will continue to take aggressive action against this virus," said Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, who has been involved in the government's treatment of monkeypox.

Cases began appearing in Europe and the United States last month. Many, but not all, of those who have contracted the virus have traveled abroad. Most were men who had sex with other men, but health officials say anyone can get the virus.

Meanwhile, the number of cases continues to grow. As of Tuesday, the United States had recorded 306 infections in 27 states and the District of Columbia. More than 4,700 cases have been discovered in more than 40 countries outside areas of Africa where the virus is endemic.

No deaths have been reported in the United States, and authorities say the risk to the public is low. But they are taking steps to reassure the public that medical measures are in place to address the growing problem.

There is a two-dose vaccine, Jynneos, licensed against smallpox in the United States, which authorities have tried to use as a primary weapon to combat the epidemic.

So far, the government has distributed more than 9,000 doses of the vaccine. On Tuesday, U.S. officials said they will increase the number of Jynneos vaccines that are available, immediately allocating 56,000 doses and about 240,000 more in the coming weeks. They promised more than a million in the coming months.

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