Monkeypox is set to become a “notifiable disease” as doctors urged infections to be reported to local government

DOCTORS encountering monkeypox patients must now notify local authorities and health protection services.

If more cases of the disease are identified, new laws will come into effect tomorrow to stem the spread.

All doctors in England must now inform their local authorities if cases are discovered


All doctors in England must now inform their local authorities if cases are discoveredPhoto credit: Reuters

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.

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Wendi Shepherd, Monkeypox Incident Director at UKHSA, said: “Prompt diagnosis and reporting is key to interrupting transmission and stopping 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.”

A further 73 cases of the infection were detected yesterday, bringing the UK total to 301.

The most cases of monkeypox are in England (287), followed by Scotland (10), Wales (three) and Northern Ireland (two).

UKHSA experts said they would update Brits every three days about the growing spread.

The current outbreak is unusual as the virus is typically only found in parts of Africa.

But it has spread around the world in recent weeks, with health experts examining key chains of transmission.

Anyone can get monkeypox, but most cases have been seen in gay men, bisexual men, or other men who have sex with men.

Even so, experts say there isn’t a single clear risk factor for contracting the virus.

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

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said cases may be more common among people in the gay community because they are more likely to turn to sexual health clinics if they have symptoms.

The main symptoms of monkeypox are a flu-like illness with fever, chills, and muscle aches, followed by a chickenpox-like rash.

The rash develops into painful blisters before the scab forms — and a person is contagious until their scabs fall off.

The UKHSA said people should contact a sexual health clinic if they have a blistered rash and have been in close contact with someone who may have monkeypox in the last three weeks.

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Sarah Y. Kim

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