Monkeypox update: Ongoing outbreak is most prevalent in London – UKHSA warning
Monkeypox: UK patient discusses his symptoms
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The zoonotic infection, meaning it can spread between species, has mainly been seen in gay, bisexual, and in men who have sex with other men. Out of 1,552 cases throughout the UK, 41 were in Scotland, 11 were in Northern Ireland, 18 in Wales, and 963 in London. “A high proportion of England cases were known to be London residents,” the UKHSA stated. For confirmed cases where gender information was made available, 99.6 percent of confirmed cases were in males with only six confirmed female cases.
Moreover, the median age of confirmed cases in the UK was 36 years; the infection typically occurred in men between the ages of 31 to 43.
Region of residence and total number of confirmed monkeypox cases (as of July 8, 2022):
- East of England, 53
- East Midland, 15
- London, 963
- North East, 18
- North West, 77
- South East, 96
- South West, 22
- West Midlands, 25
- Yorkshire and Humber, 20
There are 193 cases currently under investigation where the address has not yet been confirmed.
Monkeypox surveillance data in England is based on monkeypox virus test results from the Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory (RIPL) in UKHSA.
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The next monkeypox update will be published on Tuesday, July 12, followed by Thursday, July 14, 2022.
A monkeypox infection can take anywhere from five days to three weeks to show up.
One of the first signs of monkeypox is experiencing flu-like symptoms, such as:
- A high temperature
- A headache
- Muscle aches
- Swollen glands
- Shivering (chills)
A rash then appears, which can develop five days on from when symptoms begin to emerge.
“The rash often begins on the face, then spreads to other parts of the body. This can include the genitals,” the NHS noted.
What the rash looks like
The rash begins as raised spots, which then turns into small blisters filled with fluid, and this is the highly contagious stage.
Anybody showing signs of monkeypox should not share any bedding or towels with other people.
Eventually the blisters turn into scabs which then fall off; the infection tends to be “mild” with most people recovering within a few weeks without treatment.
“But as the infection can spread through close contact, it’s important to isolate if you’re diagnosed with it,” the NHS added.
People who have a weakened immune system are more at risk of health complications.
Vulnerable patients might need to stay in a specialist unit in hospital until fully recovered.
The NHS is now offering the smallpox vaccine to help curb the spread of monkeypox in the UK.
“Monkeypox is caused by a similar virus to smallpox,” the NHS elaborated.
“The smallpox (MVA) vaccine should give a good level of protection against monkeypox.
“One dose of the smallpox (MVA) vaccine will be offered to help reduce the severity of monkeypox symptoms and prevent future infections.”
Those eligible will be contact by their local NHS services, and “you should wait to be contacted”.
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