UK monkeypox outbreak is biggest outside Africa and still growing


Hundreds of cases have been confirmed across the UK in less than two months (Picture: AP/Reuters/Getty)

Britain’s monkeypox outbreak is continuing to grow and is still not under control, experts have warned.

Health officials confirmed last week the number of cases has risen to 574 since the first was identified on May 7.

The UK has more infections than any other country impacted by the spread of the virus and has now seen the biggest explosion ever recorded outside Africa.

Disease specialists are racing to get on top of the health scare, which the World Health Organisation has described as ‘unusual and concerning’.

The majority of cases continue to be among men who have sex with other men, leading some to call for smallpox vaccines to be offered to that group.

Clinical data shows treatments designed to inoculate against smallpox, a related and more severe illness, are effective against monkeypox.

Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, told The Guardian: ‘At the moment there is no clear evidence that the current epidemic is coming under control.’

The illness is identifiable by the scab-like rash it brings out in infected people (Picture: TNS)

Professor Jimmy Whitworth of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine agreed the outbreak is growing, telling the paper ‘super-spreading events’ have played a role, as well as ‘some cases without any obvious signs of infection’.

With Glastonbury set to start this weekend, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is concerned about the risk of infections at big summer festivals and events.

Monkeypox, which causes blisters on the skin, spreads through close physical contact, including through sexual activity.

The UKHSA has previously said the outbreak’s link to casual sex has made the chain of infection harder to trace.

A report noted: ‘Traditional …read more

Source:: Metro News

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