UK logs another SEVENTY-SEVEN monkeypox cases

UK logs another SEVENTY-SEVEN monkeypox cases as outbreak breaches 300 mark and scientists warn world’s growing outbreak may not fizzle out until NEXT YEAR

  • Britain has logged another 77 monkeypox cases, bringing the UK total to 302
  • 287 cases logged in England, 10 in Scotland, 2 in Northern Ireland and 3 in Wales
  • UK health chiefs have not shared the age, region or gender of those infected

Britain has logged another 77 monkeypox cases, bringing the UK total to 302, health chiefs confirmed today.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) confirmed 287 cases have been spotted in England, 10 in Scotland, 2 in Northern Ireland and 3 in Wales.

Anyone can get the virus, which is spread through close contact with an infected person. But most cases have been spotted among men who have sex with men.

The UKHSA has not shared the age, region or gender of those infected with monkeypox. 

Britons who have a rash with blisters and have been in close contact with someone who might have monkeypox or have been to west or central Africa, where the virus is endemic, are being urged to contact a sexual health service.

It comes as experts today warned that the virus may be circulating until next year. 

But they noted contact tracing, isolating infected people and vaccinating them and their close contacts could slash the duration of the outbreak.

Health chiefs have warned monkeypox, a virus endemic in parts of Africa and is known for its rare and unusual rashes, bumps and lesions, could also spread to some pets and become endemic in Europe. Undated handout file image issued by the UK Health Security Agency of the stages of Monkeypox

Teams from the UK Health Security Agency are contacting high-risk contacts of confirmed cases and advising them to self-isolate at home for three weeks and avoid contact with children.

Both confirmed cases and close contacts are being offered the Imvanex vaccine 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.

Monkeypox, first discovered in lab monkeys in the late 1950s, is usually mild but can cause severe illness in some cases. 

It can kill up to 10 per cent of people it infects. But the milder strain causing the current outbreak kills one in 100 — similar to when Covid first hit. No monkeypox deaths linked with the ongoing outbreak have yet been reported.

Monkeypox has an incubation period of anywhere up to 21 days, meaning it can take three weeks for symptoms to appear.

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 rash can look like chickenpox or syphilis, and scabs can form which then fall off.

Timeline of monkeypox 

1958: Monkeypox was first discovered when an outbreak of a pox-like disease occurred in monkeys kept for research.

1970: The first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the infection has been reported in a number of central and western African countries since then.

2003: A Monkeypox outbreak occurred in the US after rodents were imported from Africa. Cases were reported in both humans and pet prairie dogs. All the human infections followed contact with an infected pet and all patients recovered.

SEPTEMBER 8, 2018: Monkeypox appeared in the UK for the first time in a Nigerian naval officer who was visiting Cornwall for training. They were treated at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2018: A second UK monkeypox case is confirmed in Blackpool. There is no link with the first case in Cornwall. Instead, the patient is though to have picked up the infection when travelling in Nigeria. They were treated at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2018: A third person is diagnosed with monkeypox. The individual worked at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and treated the second Monkeypox case. They received treatment at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

DECEMBER 3, 2019: A patient was diagnosed with monkeypox in England, marking the fourth ever case.

MAY 25, 2021: Two cases of monkeypox were identified in north Wales. Both patients had travel links to Nigeria.

A third person living with one of the cases was diagnosed and admitted to hospital, bringing the total number ever to seven.

MAY 7, 2022: A person was diagnosed with Monkeypox in England after recently travelling to Nigeria. The person received care at the expert infectious disease unit at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London.

MAY 14, 2022: Two more cases were confirmed in London. The infected pair lived in the same household but had not been in contact with the case announced one week earlier.

One of these individuals received care at the expert infectious disease unit at St Mary’s Hospital in London. The other isolated at home and did not need hospital treatment.

MAY 16, 2022: Four more cases were announced, bringing the UK total to seven. Three of these cases are in London, while one of their contacts is infected in the north east of England.

The spate of cases was described as ‘unusual’ and ‘surprising’ as experts warn gay and bisexual men to look out for new rashes.

MAY 19, 2022: Two more cases were revealed, with no travel links or connections to other cases. The cases were based in the South East and London. Fears began to grow that infections are going undetected.

MAY 20, 2022: Eleven more cases are announced, meaning Britain’s monkeypox outbreak have doubled to 20. Minsters discuss the possibility of a public health campaign to warn gay men the disease may be more prevalent for them

MAY 23, 2022: Scotland logs its first ever monkeypox case and 36 more infection announced in England. It brings the UK total to 57. 

MAY 24, 2022: England logs another 14 cases, bringing the UK total to 71.

MAY 25, 2022: Another seven infections are spotted in England, meaning 78 cases have been detected in the UK.

MAY 26, 2022: Wales and Northern Ireland detect their first monkeypox case in the recent outbreak, while Scotland spots two more cases and England logs eight, bringing UK total to 90. 

MAY 27, 2022: England detects 16 more cases, meaning 106 people in Britain have confirmed infections. 

MAY 29, 2022: World Health Organization (WHO) says risk of monkeypox is ‘moderate’, citing concerns about virus infecting children and immunosuppressed people if it becomes more widespread. 

MAY 30, 2022: The UK detects another 71 monkeypox cases, bringing the UK total to 179. Cases jumped 70 per cent in just three days. 

MAY 31, 2022: Eleven infections are spotted across the UK, bringing the infection toll to 190.

JUNE 1, 2022: Another five cases are spotted in England and one is detected in Scotland, meaning the UK has now logged 196.

JUNE 2, 2022: The UK spots another 11 cases in England, bringing the UK total to 207.

JUNE 3, 2022: A further 18 cases are logged – 15 in England and three in Scotland, bringing Britain’s monkeypox infection toll to 225.

JUNE 6, 2022: Seventy-three cases are spotted in England, 2 in Scotland and 2 in Wales, bringing the UK total to 302.

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