The British monkeypox outbreak is the largest outside of Africa and continues to grow

monkey pox

Hundreds of cases have been confirmed across the UK in less than two months (Image: AP/Reuters/Getty)

The monkeypox outbreak in the UK continues to grow and is still not under control, experts have warned.

Health officials confirmed last week that the number of cases has risen to 574 since the first was identified on May 7.

The UK has more infections than any other country affected by the spread of the virus and has now experienced the largest blast ever recorded outside of Africa.

Disease specialists are scrambling to get a handle on the health scare, which the World Health Organization has called “unusual and worrisome.”

The majority of cases continue to occur in men who have sex with other men, leading some to call for smallpox vaccines to be offered to this group.

Clinical data show that treatments for vaccination against smallpox, a related and more serious disease, are effective against monkeypox.

Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, told The Guardian: “At the moment there is no clear evidence that the current epidemic is coming under control.”

In this handout graphic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of one of the first known cases of the monkeypox virus can be seen on a patient's hand on June 5, 2003. (CDC/Getty Images/TNS)

The disease can be identified by the scab-like rash it produces in infected individuals (Image: TNS)

Professor Jimmy Whitworth, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, agreed the outbreak was growing, telling the newspaper that “super-spreading events” have played a role, as well as “a few cases with no obvious signs of infection”.

With Glastonbury due to start this weekend, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is concerned about the risk of infection at major summer festivals and events.

Monkeypox, which causes blisters on the skin, is spread through close physical contact, including sexual activity.

The UKHSA has previously said linking the outbreak to casual sex has made tracing the chain of infection more difficult.

According to a report: “Traditional contact tracing as the primary control intervention in this particular group will present a challenge as most cases have had sexual contact with new or casual partners, sometimes related to cruise reasons or during chemsex, where contact details were often not available for.” tracking.’

A UKHSA spokesman said: “If you have a blistered rash or other monkeypox symptoms, do not attend events, meet friends or engage in 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.”

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Justin Scacco

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