- Cases of monkey pox, which can cause pus-filled boils, are being “urgently investigated” in the UK.
- Four cases were discovered Sunday unrelated to foreign travel, British health authorities said.
- dr. Susan Hopkins, UKHSA’s chief medical adviser, said the apparent spread of monkeypox was “unusual”.
The cases of monkey pox in the UK are being “urgently investigated”, according to health officials, after four new cases were discovered on Sunday.
A total of seven cases of monkey pox were diagnosed in the UK between May 6 and May 15. After the first case was announced on May 7, two additional patients unrelated to that case were confirmed on May 14.
The last four cases are not related to the previously confirmed cases. The individuals have the West African clade of the virus, which according to the UK Health Security Agency is mild compared to the Central African Clade
Monkeypox is a rare but potentially fatal disease. It can cause flu-like symptoms and pus-filled boils that cover the body, among other things. It tends not to spread easily among people unless they are in close contact. Those infected have usually traveled to regions, such as West Africa, where the disease is most prevalent.
The UKHSA said the four new cases were unrelated to travel to a country where monkeypox is endemic.
Susan Hopkins, chief medical officer at UKHSA, said in a statement that there is evidence that monkeypox can be transmitted through the community, “spread through close contact”.
“This is rare and unusual,” she said.
The UKHSA is studying sexual contact as a mode of transmission as all four new cases of monkeypox identified themselves as gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men.
“Since the virus spreads through close contact, we advise these groups to be alert for any unusual rashes or lesions on any part of their bodies, especially their genitals, and to contact a sexual health service if they are concerned,” the organization said. †
“Exactly where and how they contracted their infections is under urgent investigation, including whether they have further links to each other,” it said.
The virus is not spread through sexual contact.
Jimmy Whitworth, professor of international public health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, told the Science Media Center on Tuesday: “The most likely way of spreading in this cluster is through close contact: touching the skin or bedding, or shared kitchen utensils. . it is not necessary to postulate actual sexual transmission through genital or oral secretions.”
Is monkeypox deadly?
According to the World Health Organization, the proportion of those diagnosed with monkeypox who die from it varies from 1% to 10%, depending on the strain of virus they catch.
dr. Michael Skinner, a virology reader at Imperial College London, told the Science Media Center on Tuesday that most cases of monkeypox in the UK are probably the less deadly kind.
“The general public should not be concerned, but clinicians and public health authorities should be vigilant to identify infected cases early to limit transmission,” he said.
The WHO said on Sunday that no trade or travel restrictions to the UK or Nigeria were necessary.