Monkeypox cases are rising outside of Africa, where the virus is prevalent, and public health officials are utilising contact tracing, isolation, and targeted vaccination to stop it from spreading. Since early May, more than 200 suspected and confirmed instances of the generally mild viral infection have been followed by global health experts in 19 nations. Although no deaths have been reported so far, the monkeypox variant implicated in the present outbreak has a case fatality rate of roughly 1%.
Treatments available for combating Monkeypox:
According to the World Health Organization, the viruses that cause smallpox and Monkeypox are closely related, and the first generation of smallpox vaccines appears to be up to 85% effective in preventing Monkeypox. There are two smallpox vaccines on the market right now. Jynneos, Imvamune, or Imvanex are brand names used by Danish business Bavarian Nordic (BAVA.CO), depending on geography.
It contains a weakened strain of the vaccinia virus, which is similar to, but less dangerous than, the viruses that cause smallpox and monkeypox. This vaccinia strain has been engineered so that it does not cause disease in humans and cannot increase in human cells.
Smallpox and monkeypox prevention has been approved in the United States. Although doctors can prescribe it for monkeypox off-label, the European Union has approved it for smallpox. Bavarian Nordic stated that it will most likely seek the EU’s drug watchdog for a label extension to include monkeypox.
Smallpox was declared eradicated by the WHO in 1980, but there have long been fears that the virus could be used as a bioweapon, prompting countries to stockpile vaccines. The WHO has 2.4 million doses from the latter years of the eradication operation stored at its Swiss headquarters. Donor countries have also pledged more than 31 million extra doses to the organisation.
U.S. officials say more than 1,000 doses of the Bavarian Nordic vaccine are in the national stockpile and expect that level to ramp up very quickly in the coming weeks. The country also has 100 million doses of ACAM2000. Germany has said it had ordered 40,000 doses of Bavarian Nordic’s vaccine, to be ready to vaccinate contacts of cases if needed.
Other countries, including Britain and France, also offer or recommend vaccines to people with close contact with infected people and healthcare workers. Bavarian Nordic, which has an annual production capacity of 30 million doses, told Reuters multiple countries have approached it interested in buying its vaccine, without providing details. A spokesperson said it does not need to expand production.