Monkeypox: Cases rise by 28 percent in the UK – symptoms

Monkeypox: UK patient discusses his symptoms

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Figures released by the UKHSA (United Kingdom Health Security Agency) show another significant rise in the number of infections.

An additional 104 cases of monkeypox have been detected, bringing the nationwide total to 470.

All of the latest infections have been detected in England, says the UKHSA.

Overall, England has the highest number of monkeypox infections at 452 compared to 12 in Scotland, four in Wales, and two in Northern Ireland.

The UK has the highest number of confirmed monkeypox cases globally with nearly double that of Spain (259), Portugal (191), and Germany (150).

Although the UK is the country worst affected by the monkeypox outbreak, its high numbers are in part down to its effective contact tracing.

Dr Michael Head of the University of Southampton said: “The public health teams in the UK have done an excellent job, not just with the contact tracing and reporting, but also with accurate and sensitive public health messaging.

“We don’t want any populations to feel stigmatised, but there is also an urgent need to raise awareness of signs of monkeypox among high-risk individuals, and to encourage early reporting of symptoms.”

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The reason for Dr Head’s comments is down to young sexually active LGBTQ+ men making up the bulk of the cases in the UK.

Despite this, in a statement the UKHSA reinforced how anyone, regardless of gender or sexuality, could catch and become seriously ill from monkeypox.

They also urged anyone who had a suspect rash with blisters after intimate contact with a monkeypox patient to visit their local sexual health clinic as soon as possible.

Monkeypox can be transmitted through several means, through skin on skin contact with an infected person, through contact with their bedsheets, or through large droplets in a crowd.

Since monkeypox can be spread through large droplets, health experts such as the London School of Hygiene’s Dr William Nutland said: “There’s been talk in some of the networks we are involved in of the potential dangers particularly where people start making out.”

Meanwhile, health bodies such as the NHS are encouraging individuals to be on the look out for other symptoms of monkeypox accompanying a rash such as:
• A high temperature
• A headache
• Muscle aches
• Backache
• Swollen glands
• Shivering
• Exhaustion.

The rash will normally appear one to five days after a person becomes infected.

Although monkeypox sounds like a terrifying prospected, the NHS added: “The symptoms usually clear up in a few weeks.”

Furthermore, it is important to note the UK is not facing another Coronavirus-esque situation; no lockdowns or restrictions are expected.

Despite this, the UKHSA is advising monkeypox patients to self-isolate for three weeks if they become infected.

Furthermore, if necessary, the Government can purchase doses of the smallpox vaccine to slow the transmission of the virus.

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