Tests negative, no monkeypox cases in Turkey: Minister
Turkey has no monkeypox virus cases as the latest tests on four suspected patients have emerged negative, the country’s health minister has said.
“Tests have been made on four patients suspected to be infected with monkeypox in Istanbul. All are negative,” Fahrettin Koca tweeted late on June 4.
Highlighting that there are no monkeypox cases in Turkey, he urged the public not to panic due to some rumors.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it was aware of more than 700 global cases of monkeypox, including 21 in the United States, with investigations now suggesting it is spreading inside the country.
Sixteen of the first 17 cases were among people who identify as men who have sex with men, according to a new CDC report, and 14 were thought to be travel-associated.
All patients are in recovery or have recovered, and no cases have been fatal, the Agence France-Presse has reported.
“There have also been some cases in the United States that we know are linked to known cases,” Jennifer McQuiston, deputy director of the CDC’s Division of High Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, told reporters on a call.
“We also have at least one case in the United States that does not have a travel link or know how they acquired their infection.” Monkeypox is a rare disease that is related to but less severe than smallpox, causing a rash that spreads, fever, chills and aches, among other symptoms.
Generally confined to western and central Africa, cases have been reported in Europe since May, and the number of countries affected has grown since.
Canada also released new figures on June 2, counting 77 confirmed cases, almost all of them detected in Quebec province, where vaccines have been delivered.
Though its new spread may be linked to particular gay festivals in Europe, monkeypox is not thought to be a sexually transmitted disease, with the main risk factor being close skin-to-skin contact with someone who has monkeypox sores. A person is contagious until all the sores have scabbed and new skin is formed.
Raj Panjabi, senior director for the White House’s global health security and biodefense division, said that 1,200 vaccines and 100 treatment courses had been delivered to U.S. states, where they were offered to close contacts of those infected.
There are currently two authorized vaccines, ACAM2000 and JYNNEOS, which were originally developed against smallpox.
Though smallpox has been eliminated, the United States retains the vaccines in a strategic national reserve in case it is deployed as a biological weapon.
JYNNEOS is the more modern of the two vaccines, with fewer side effects.