(NewsNation) — President Joe Biden said “everyone should be concerned” about the spread of monkeypox as the World Health Organization answered public questions about the spread of the virus.
“It is a concern in that if it were to spread it would be consequential,” Biden said in his first public comments on the disease. “They haven’t told me the level of exposure yet but it is something that everybody should be concerned about.” He added that work was underway to determine what vaccine might be effective.
Monkeypox is rarely identified outside Africa, but as of Friday, there were 80 confirmed cases worldwide, including at least two in the United States, and another 50 suspected ones.
Although the disease belongs to the same virus family as smallpox, its symptoms are milder. People usually recover within two to four weeks without needing to be hospitalized, but the disease occasionally is deadly.