US President Joe Biden has said that American health officials are looking into possible treatments and vaccines.

Biden said work was underway to determine what vaccine might be effective to battle the disease.
Biden said work was underway to determine what vaccine might be effective to battle the disease. (AP)

US President Joe Biden has said that recent cases of monkeypox that have been identified in Europe and the United States are something “to be concerned about.”

“It is a concern in that if it were to spread it would be consequential," Biden said on Sunday, in his first public comments on the disease.

The president was asked about the disease as he spoke to reporters at Osan Air Base in South Korea, where he visited troops before continuing his first trip to Asia as president.

"We’re working on it hard to figure out what we do," Biden told reporters before departing on Air Force One for Japan.

“They haven’t told me the level of exposure yet but it is something that everybody should be concerned about,” Biden said.

READ MORE: WHO predicts monkeypox cases to rise around globe

Disease occasionally deadly

He added that US health officials were looking into possible treatments and vaccines.

Monkeypox is rarely identified outside of 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 hospitalised, but the disease occasionally is deadly.

READ MORE: France, Belgium, Germany join growing list of nations with monkeypox

Source: TRTWorld and agencies