Home UK & World UK monkeypox cases ‘to double’ as WHO plans emergency meeting over outbreak

UK monkeypox cases ‘to double’ as WHO plans emergency meeting over outbreak

UK monkeypox cases 'to double' as WHO plans emergency meeting over outbreak

The ongoing outbreak of monkeypox has prompted the World Health Organisation to arrange an emergency meeting, according to reports. It is understood the meeting has been convened as UK cases are expected to double with 11 more cases to be reported today.

There have been nine cases so far in the UK, but The Times has reported that this will increase today as the virus spreads across the country. It is also reported that the Government is ordering more stocks of the smallpox vaccine for those who may have been exposed to the virus.

It is understood the WHO meeting will look at how the virus is being spread, vaccine stocks, and why there is a high prevalence of cases in gay and bisexual men, The Telegraph reports.

The UK Health Security Agency said on Wednesday that recent cases reported this week had been seen “predominantly in gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men”, though it noted that it was unclear how exactly people had got infected.

Speaking to The Times, Dr Susan Hopkins, UKHSA’s chief medical adviser, said: “We are urging men who are gay and bisexual to be aware of any unusual rashes or lesions and to contact a sexual health service without delay if they have concerns.”

Health officials in Spain have reported seven cases of monkeypox and Portugal updated its number of confirmed cases to 14 as an outbreak of a viral disease typically limited to Africa expanded in Europe.

That is why outbreaks reported in Britain, Portugal, Spain and the United States have cased alarm among public health experts. The disease, which was first discovered in monkeys, is usually mild but can cause severe illness in some cases.

Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, which then spreads to other parts of the body including the genitals.

The rash can look like chickenpox or syphilis, and scabs can form which then fall off. The incubation period of monkeypox is usually from six to 13 days but can range from five to 21 days.

Monkeypox is not normally a sexually-transmitted infection, but it can be passed on by direct contact during sex. It can also be spread through touching clothing, bedding or towels used by someone with the monkeypox rash, and through the coughs and sneezes of somebody with the infection.


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