Monkeypox cases hit 574 in the UK as 46 new infections were detected

MONKEYPOX cases are still rising in the UK – with a further 46 infections reported today.

It brings the total to 574, with Brits being urged to watch for any new rashes or blisters.

Anyone can get the disease—even more so if you've been in contact with, or had sexual contact with, a person with symptoms


Anyone can get the disease—even more so if you’ve been in contact with, or had sexual contact with, a person with symptomsCredit: AP

There are currently 550 confirmed cases in England, 16 in Scotland, 2 in Northern Ireland and 6 in Wales.

Around 1,600 cases have been detected around the world in recent weeks – something experts are calling “worrying”.

100 cases have been confirmed in the US, with New York and California being the hardest-hit places.

Anyone can get the disease—even more so if you’ve been in contact with, or had sexual contact with, a person with symptoms.

WHO is ready to rename monkeypox amid fears the name could fuel racism
Traces of monkeypox found in a patient's semen prompt the WHO to investigate

A report by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) last week revealed that most cases have been in gay, bisexual men or men who have sex with men.

dr William Welfare, Incident Director at UKHSA, said: “With monkeypox case numbers continuing to rise and with many summer events and festivals ahead, we are reminding people to be aware of the symptoms of monkeypox, particularly if you have recently had new or multiple sexual partners to prevent further spread and protect others.

“If you have a blistered rash or other monkeypox symptoms, do not go to events, meet friends, or have sexual contact.

“Instead, stay home and call 111 or your local sexual health service for advice.

“Please contact the clinic prior to your visit and avoid close contact with others until you have been seen by a clinician.”

He added that the UKHSA is working closely with partners across the country, including promoters and venues, to raise public awareness of monkeypox symptoms so everyone can have a safe, happy and healthy summer.

It was revealed earlier this week that the World Health Organization (WHO) is currently reviewing reports that the virus is present in the semen of patients.

In recent days, scientists said they have discovered viral DNA in the semen of a handful of monkeypox patients in Italy and Germany.

Catherine Smallwood, monkeypox incident manager at the WHO Regional Office for Europe, said it is not known whether recent reports mean the monkeypox virus could be sexually transmitted.

She said: “That was maybe something we weren’t aware of before with this disease.

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:

  1. Fever
  2. headache
  3. Muscle cramp
  4. back pain
  5. chills
  6. exhaustion
  7. night sweats
  8. Cold symptoms such as stuffy and runny nose
  9. Swollen lymph nodes
  10. Swollen groin
  11. rash

Medical professionals said complications of the disease were documented as:

  • Bad mood
  • strong pain
  • conjunctivitis

“We really need to focus on the most common route of transmission and we clearly see that being linked to skin-to-skin contact.”

Medical professionals say you should contact a sexual health clinic if you have a rash or blisters and if you have been in contact with someone who has had monkeypox in the past three weeks.

This guide also applies to those who have been to West or Central Africa in the past three weeks.

However, the WHO will also rename the virus – in a move that could refer to the disease as hMPXV.

It comes after 30 scientists wrote a letter calling for the change, fearing it could spark racism and stigma.

The disease was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a smallpox-like disease occurred in research monkey colonies – hence the name monkeypox.

Experts fear references to the disease as African are problematic.

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Sarah Y. Kim

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