UK logs another 45 monkeypox cases as outbreak continues to sweep country


UK logs another 45 monkeypox cases as outbreak continues to sweep country: Ministers face pressure to drastically ramp up supply of vaccines to combat tropical virus as US signs new deal that gives them 20 TIMES more doses than Britain

Another 45 monkeypox cases have been spotted in Britain, bringing the cumulative number of cases to 366.

Forty-three of the new patients were in England, while one case was spotted in each Scotland and Wales, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) revealed.

No further details were given but ‘most cases’ continue to be among gay and bisexual men, officials said.

Since the first case was detected on May 6, 348 people have been diagnosed with the tropical virus in England, 12 in Scotland, four in Wales and two in Northern Ireland

The UK has recorded the most cases in the ever-growing worldwide cluster, followed by Spain (259), Portugal (191) and Germany (150). 

More than 1,300 infections have been confirmed worldwide. Poland and Brazil today confirmed they had diagnosed their first monkeypox patients.

WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus today warned the risk of monkeypox becoming established in non-endemic countries ‘is real’. 

Both confirmed cases and close contacts in the UK are being offered the Imvanex vaccine, made by Denmark-based Bavarian Nordic, to form a buffer of immune people around a confirmed case to limit the spread of the disease. 

The strategy, known as ring vaccination, has been used in previous monkeypox outbreaks and is also being carried out in some EU countries. 

The US today entered a new deal to buy half a million more doses of the jab, which is 85 per cent effective against the jab, to be delivered this year.

For comparison, the UK is understood to have fewer than 25,000 doses — 20 times fewer than the US. 

Experts told MailOnline the UK ‘needs thousands more doses and quickly’ as the current stock ‘really isn’t enough’ as it only provides jabs for a ‘handful of each infected person’s contacts’.

Officials are urging gay and bisexual men to be aware of new lesions, rashes or scabs and get in contact with a sexual health clinic

Officials are urging gay and bisexual men to be aware of new lesions, rashes or scabs and get in contact with a sexual health clinic

The infection often starts with small bumps that scab over and are contagious

The infection often starts with small bumps that scab over and are contagious

The UKHSA advised Britons to contact their sexual health clinic if they have a rash with blisters and have been in close contact with a suspected or confirmed monkeypox case or have been in West or Central Africa in the last three weeks.

A large proportion of cases so far have been identified in the gay, bisexual and men who have sex with other men community. 

But anyone can get monkeypox if they have had close contact with an infected person.

Monkeypox is not normally a sexually-transmitted infection, but it can be passed on by direct contact during sex.

It can also be spread through touching clothing, bedding or towels used by someone with the monkeypox rash.

According to the UKHSA, monkeypox does not spread easily between people and the overall risk to the UK population remains low.

The disease is usually mild but can cause severe illness in some cases.

Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, which then spreads to other parts of the body including the genitals.

The UKHSA this week declared the virus a notifiable disease. It means all medics must alert local health authorities to suspected cases. The tropical virus now carries the same legal status as the plague, rabies and measles.

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