Infections expert issues warning about ‘worst ever’ Monkeypox outbreak in UK

Monkeypox: Expert outlines ‘different’ behaviour in outbreak

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Writing on Twitter, infections doctor Dr Neil Stone warned: “Monkeypox may be ‘mild’ for most, in the sense that they usually get better uneventfully, but believe me it really is quite unpleasant. You wouldn’t want to get it. Definitely an outbreak which needs stopping as fast as possible.”

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection which is usually mild and from which most people recover in a few weeks.

The Centre for Disease Prevention says the virus begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion.

Unlike smallpox, it also causes lymph nodes to swell.

Within 1 to 3 days after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face before spreading to other parts of the body.

Symptoms typically last for 2−4 weeks.

According to the CDC, in Africa Monkeypox has been shown to cause death in as many as 1 in 10 people who contract the disease.

However, the virus does not spread easily between people and the risk to the wider public is said to be very low.

But more than 80 cases of Monkeypox have been confirmed in at least 12 countries so far – nine European countries, the US, Canada and Australia.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that more cases are likely to be reported, as another 50 suspected cases are being investigated across the world.

There are now 20 confirmed cases in the UK, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said on Friday.

The current outbreak has been described as the UK and Europe’s “worst-ever Monkeypox outbreak”.

Speaking about the virus, Sky News’ Science Correspondent, Thomas Moore, explained: “The UK and some other European countries are now dealing with their worst ever Monkeypox outbreak.

“This outbreak is really unusual.

“Most of these cases have no connection to West Africa, they haven’t travelled recently.

“They’ve been within the UK but they are picking up the infection here.

“And that makes it slightly concerning for the UK health security agency.”

In a statement on Friday, the WHO said it is working with affected countries to “expand disease surveillance”.

It warned people against stigmatizing groups of people as a result of the virus, as it can act as a “barrier to ending an outbreak as it may prevent people from seeking care, and lead to undetected spread.”

Hans Kluge, the WHO’s Europe regional director, warned that the summer season could exacerbate the virus, saying: “With mass gatherings, festivals and parties, I am concerned that transmission could accelerate”.

There is no specific vaccine for monkeypox, but a smallpox jab offers 85 percent protection as the two viruses are similar.

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