A FURTHER 18 cases of monkeypox have been identified in the UK, bringing the total to 321.
The status of the virus has now been upgraded as doctors have been urged to report infections to local governments.
Medical professionals including the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said anyone can get monkeypox – especially if you’ve had close contact, including sexual contact, with a person with symptoms.
People who are gay or bisexual and men who have sex with men continue to be disproportionately affected.
There are currently 305 confirmed cases in England, 11 in Scotland, 2 in Northern Ireland and 3 in Wales.
Doctors have urged people to visit a sexual health clinic if they have a rash or blisters.
You should also be tested to see if you have had close contact, including sexual contact, with anyone who has or may have monkeypox (even if they have not been tested) in the past 3 weeks.
The same applies if you have been to West or Central Africa in the last three weeks.
Today’s update on infections comes after doctors are now required to notify communities and health protection agencies when cases are discovered.
This means that monkeypox is designated as a notifiable disease under the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010.
Other diseases also covered by this legislation are Covid-19, the plague, acute meningitis, measles and smallpox.
Laboratories are also required to notify the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) if a case is detected in samples.
If monkeypox is suspected, medical professionals must inform the responsible authorities within three days or, in urgent cases, within 24 hours.
Wendi Shepherd, Monkeypox Incident Director at UKHSA, said: “Prompt diagnosis and reporting is key to disrupting transmission and curbing the further spread of Monkeypox.
“This new legislation will help us and our healthcare partners quickly identify, treat and control the disease.
“It also assists us in the rapid collection and analysis of data, allowing us to identify possible outbreaks of the disease and quickly trace close contacts, while offering vaccinations where necessary to limit onward transmission.”
You need to know the signs of monkeypox
Experts at Britain’s Health Safety Agency have said all Britons should be on the lookout for important signs and symptoms.
Signs can include:
- Muscle cramp
- back pain
- night sweats
- Cold symptoms such as stuffy and runny nose
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Swollen groin
Medical professionals said complications of the disease were documented as:
- Bad mood
- strong pain
Last night a Briton who had contracted the infection told how “farcial” health officials only tried to trace him after he appeared on TV.
James McFadzean, 35, was feeling “rough” after contracting the virus on May 25 after a trip to Dubai.
But he told TalkTV’s Tom Newton-Dunn how the UKHSA never responded to his calls – despite testing positive two weeks ago, before cases in the UK skyrocketed to over 300.
The HR manager raged: “Just ten minutes ago, when my story broke, they suddenly found my real phone number, which is a farce!
“Every day I called my clinic, the NHS Trust is trying to get people to call me so we can do contact tracing.”
The UKHSA says it has made several attempts to contact James.
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https://www.the-sun.com/health/5515641/uk-monkeypox-infections-hit-cases-detected/ British monkeypox infections hit 321 as another 18 cases were detected