Moderna is testing potential vaccines against monkeypox in pre-clinical trials as the disease spreads in the United States and Europe.
The World Health Organization said on Tuesday there have been 131 confirmed cases and 106 further suspected cases since the first was reported on May 7 outside the countries where it usually spreads.
Related – Explainer: Monkeypox – How concerned should we be?
Moderna did not immediately respond to a request for more details on the monkeypox vaccines.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the government was in the process of releasing doses of a smallpox vaccine Jynneos, made by Bavarian Nordic A/S, for use in monkeypox cases.
HOW DANGEROUS IS IT?
The risk to the general public is low at this time, a U.S. public health official told reporters at a briefing on Friday.
It is a virus that can cause symptoms including fever, and aches and presents with a distinctive bumpy rash.
It is related to smallpox, but is usually milder, particularly the West African strain of the virus that was identified in a U.S. case, which has a fatality rate of around 1%. Most people fully recover in two to four weeks, the official said.