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Monkeypox: Immunocompromised individuals at risk, expert committee set up, says Covid panel chief

What vaccines, treatments do we have to combat monkeypox?

With cases of monkeypox inexplicably on the rise outside of Africa - where the viral disease is endemic - public health officials are using contact tracing, isolation and targeted vaccination to curb its spread.

Global health officials have tracked more than 200 suspected and confirmed cases of the usually mild viral infection in 19 countries since early May. The monkeypox variant implicated in the current outbreak has a case fatality rate of around 1%, though no deaths have been reported so far.

Here's what we know about the existing range of vaccines and treatments:

VACCINES

The smallpox and monkeypox viruses are closely related, and the first generation of smallpox vaccines appear up to 85% effective in preventing monkeypox, the World Health Organization has said.

There are currently two smallpox vaccines available.

One made by Danish company Bavarian Nordic goes by the brand name Jynneos, Imvamune or Imvanex - depending on geography.

It contains a weakened form of the vaccinia virus that is closely related to, but less harmful than, than the viruses that cause smallpox and monkeypox. This modified version of vaccinia does not cause disease in humans and cannot reproduce in human cells.

It has U.S. approval for the prevention of both smallpox and monkeypox. European Union approval is for smallpox, although doctors can prescribe it off-label for monkeypox. Bavarian Nordic said it would probably apply for a label extension with the EU's drug watchdog to include monkeypox.

The reported side-effects include pain and swelling at the injection site as well as headache and fatigue.

The other, older vaccine, currently made by Emergent Biosolutions, is called

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A virus is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of an organism. Viruses can infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to microorganisms, including bacteria and archaea.

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