Monkeypox tracker ‘planned’ confirmed as disease in all UK countries

A Covid-like tracker could be rolled out if the monkeypox outbreak continues (Image: PA/Getty)

Plans are being drawn up to create a Covid-like dashboard to track cases of monkeypox, it has been claimed.

Eight other cases have been confirmed in the UK – including the first in Wales and Northern Ireland.

That brings the UK total to 90 and every country in the UK has now identified patients with the disease.

But according to The Daily Telegraph, daily updates could soon be tracked in a similar way to Covid-19.

The coronavirus dashboard was developed over several weeks after the crisis began in spring 2020.

But with the technology now in place, the newspaper says mimicking the monkeypox dashboard would be a “relatively easy task” – but adds that there is no known date for the move, which also depends on the outbreak lasting.

The UK Health Safety Authority (UKHSA) said the new cases bring the English total to 85 and the UK total to 90 since May 7.

An employee of the vaccine company Bavarian Nordic works in a laboratory of the company in Martinsried near Munich, Germany, 24 May 2022. The company, headquartered in Denmark, is the only company in the world to have approval for a smallpox vaccine called Jynneos in the US and Imvanex in Europe, which is also effective against monkeypox. REUTERS/Lukas Barth???

Experts are working to trace the outbreak (Image: Reuters)

Health officials in Wales confirmed their first case on Thursday morning, ahead of a case later confirmed by the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland.

Two more cases have been confirmed in Scotland, Public Health Scotland said, bringing the number of cases north of the border to three.

People with unusual rashes or lesions, particularly if they have had a new sexual partner, have been urged to limit their contact with others and contact NHS 111 or their local sexual health clinic.

dr Susan Hopkins, UKHSA’s senior medical adviser, said: “We continue to promptly identify further cases of monkeypox in England through our extensive surveillance and contact tracing networks, our vigilant NHS services and thanks to those who come forward with symptoms.”

dr Giri Shankar, Director of Health Protection at Public Health Wales, added: “We are working with the UK Health Security Agency, Public Health Scotland and the Public Health Agency Northern Ireland and are ready to respond to cases of monkeypox in Wales.

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“The case will be dealt with appropriately. To protect patient confidentiality, no further details about the patient are disclosed.

“Everyone is being asked to be aware of the symptoms of monkeypox, but it is important for gay and bisexual men to be vigilant as it is thought to spread through sexual networks.”

One expert has suggested the outbreak may have been sparked by sex at two raves in Spain and Belgium.

In Scotland, the two latest cases are believed to be in people with “recent travel history” who are being treated under nationally agreed protocols and guidance, according to Public Health Scotland.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s chief medical officer suggested today that the outbreak – and cases of hepatitis seen in children around the world – could be linked to lower levels of immunity as a result of lockdowns.

Despite the rise in cases, the UKHSA has said the risk to the UK population as a whole “remains low”.

Gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men are especially urged to watch for symptoms, especially if they’ve recently had a new sex partner.

UKHSA teams have been tracing contacts of people with a confirmed case and are advising those at highest risk to isolate for 21 days.

Close contacts are also offered a smallpox vaccine to reduce the risk of symptoms and serious illness.

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MORE: Britain buys 20,000 doses of smallpox vaccine to fight monkeypox Monkeypox tracker 'planned' confirmed as disease in all UK countries

Justin Scacco

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