Monkeypox cases confirmed in England: UK Health Security Agency issues advice – UKMALAYALEE

Monkeypox cases confirmed in England: UK Health Security Agency issues advice

Saturday 21 May 2022 7:28 AM UTC

LONDON May 23: Britain is seeing daily infections of the rare monkeypox virus that are unconnected to any travel to West Africa, where the disease is endemic, a health official said on Sunday.

The latest cases bring the total number of monkeypox cases confirmed in England since 7 May to 56.

According to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) the virus does not usually spread easily between people, but it can be passed on through close person-to-person contact or contact with items used by a person who has monkeypox, such as clothes, bedding or utensils. Monkeypox is usually a self-limiting illness and most people recover within a few weeks.

While the current outbreak is significant and concerning, the risk to the UK population remains low. Anyone with unusual rashes or lesions on any part of their body, especially their genitalia, should immediately contact NHS 111 or their local sexual health service.

A notable proportion of cases detected have been in gay and bisexual men, so UKHSA continues to urge this community to be alert to monkeypox symptoms.

People should notify clinics ahead of their visit and can be assured their call or discussion will be treated sensitively and confidentially.

Dr Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Adviser, UKHSA, said: “Alongside reports of further cases being identified in other countries globally, we continue to identify additional cases in the UK. Thank you to everyone who has come forward for testing already and supported our contact tracing efforts – you are helping us limit the spread of this infection in the UK.

Because the virus spreads through close contact, we are urging everyone to be aware of any unusual rashes or lesions and to contact a sexual health service if they have any symptoms.

A notable proportion of recent cases in the UK and Europe have been found in gay and bisexual men so we are particularly encouraging these men to be alert to the symptoms.

UKHSA health protection teams are contacting people considered to be high-risk contacts of confirmed cases and are advising those who have been risk assessed and remain well to isolate at home for up to 21 days. In addition, UKHSA has purchased supplies of a safe smallpox vaccine (called Imvanex) and this is being offered to identified close contacts of someone diagnosed with monkeypox to reduce the risk of symptomatic infection and severe illness.

Initial symptoms include fever, headaches, swellings, back pain and aching muscles.

Once the fever breaks a rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body, most commonly the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

The rash, which can be extremely itchy or painful, changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab, which later falls off. The lesions can cause scarring.

The infection usually clears up on its own and lasts between 14 and 21 days.

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