Monkeypox outbreak: 106 cases confirmed in the UK as 16 more people contract virus
Sixteen more cases have been confirmed in the UK but the UKHSA has assured the public that the risk ‘remains low’ to the wider population
A further 16 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in the UK, bringing the total to 106.
Despite the rise in cases, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has assured the public that the risk to the wider population “remains low”.
According to the World Health organisation, around 200 cases have been reported worldwide in countries not usually known to have outbreaks.
What has UKHSA said about the outbreak?
Those who have displayed symptoms including unusual rashes or lesions - particularly those who have had a new sexual partner - are being encouraged to limit their contact with others and contact NHS 111 or their local sexual health clinic.
Dr Susan Hopkins, UKHSA chief medical adviser, said: “We are continuing to promptly identify further monkeypox cases in England through our extensive surveillance and contact tracing networks, our vigilant NHS services, and thanks to people coming forward with symptoms.
“We are asking people to look out for new spots, ulcers or blisters on any part of their body. If anyone suspects they might have these, particularly if they have recently had a new sexual partner, they should limit their contact with others and contact NHS 111 or their local sexual health service as soon as possible, though please phone ahead before attending in person.”
Men who are gay or bisexual and men who have has sex with other men ar ebeing ecnourage to remain vigilant and aware of the synptoms.
The UKHSA has said that “the majority of the cases identified to date” are among this demographic.
A smallpox vaccine is being offered to those identified as close contacts to reduce the risk of symptoms and severe illness.
How does monkeypox spread?
The health agency has said that, despite more cases being confirmed, the risk to the wider UK population “remains low”.
This is due to the fact that the virus does not spread easily.
Monkeypox is transmitted through close personal contact with someone who is infected. This includes skin-to-skin contact and kissing.
It may also be transfered on clothes, towels and linens which have come into contact with sores.
The UKHSA have also recommended that those infected with monkeypox do not come into contact with any pet rodents while they recover from the virus, as it can also spread easily from animals.
Those with pet rodents should remove them from their household while the infection is ongoing.
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
According to the NHS, the first presenting symptoms of monkeypox include:
- a high temperature
- muscle aches
- swollen glands
These symptoms normally take between five and 21 days from the first infection to appear.
A rash or unusual lesions normally appear around one to five days after the first symptom presents.
Monkeypox rashes resemble chickenpox sores - a raised bump which turned into a small blister.
The lesions eventually form scabs beofre later falling off.
Symptoms of monkeypox normally clear up in around two to four weeks.