UK monkeypox infections hit 190 as further 11 people test positive


A FURTHER 11 people have tested positive for monkeypox in the UK, bringing the total number of infections to 190.

Medics have said the risk to the general population is low – but Brits have been urged to be on the look out for any new rashes or blisters.

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Of the 190 cases, four have been confirmed in Scotland, two in Northern Ireland and one in WalesCredit: AP

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is currently contacting people considered to be high-risk contacts of confirmed cases.

Those who have been assessed and remain well have been asked to isolate for 21 days in order to avoid the bug spreading.

Of the 190 cases, four have been confirmed in Scotland, two in Northern Ireland and one in Wales.

Dr Ruth Milton, Senior Medical Advisor at UKHSA, said: “The risk to the general public from monkeypox is still low, but it’s important that we work to limit the virus being passed on.

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“We remind people that they should be alert to new spots, ulcers or blisters on any part of their body.

“If anyone suspects they might have these, particularly if they have recently had a new sexual partner, they should limit their contact with others and contact NHS 111 or their local sexual health service as soon as possible, though please phone ahead before attending in person.”

The experts say that while this advise applies to everyone, the majority of infections have been found in men who are gay, bisexual, or men who have sex with men.

Medics have urged this group to be aware of the key signs and symptoms.

Initial indicators of infection include a headache and the illness will often feel like a viral infection.

Monkeypox is a mild illness which gets better with time, in very rare cases it can lead to death.

It’s most prevalent in parts of west or central Africa, but cases have now been detected globally.

With that in mind, and with cases continuing to rise, Brits have been urged to be vigilant during Jubilee celebrations this weekend.

Millions of people across the country will be taking part in celebrating 70 years of service of our current monarch.

Events such as street parties, pub gatherings and barbeques are set to take place.

Consultant in Health Protection at UKHSA South West Dr Charlotte Bigland said: “Monkeypox is circulating nationally and internationally, so it’s important to for people to stay vigilant.

The signs of monkeypox you need to know

Initial symptoms of monkeypox include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills and exhaustion

A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body including the genitals.

The rash changes and goes through different stages.

At first it can look like chickenpox, before bumps become raised and filled with pus.

These lesions finally form a scab, which later falls off.

“There has been a notable number of cases identified among people who are gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men, so we are asking these groups in particular to be aware of the symptoms, particularly if they have recently had a new sexual partner.

“Anyone with unusual rashes or lesions on any part of their body should contact 111 or their local sexual health service for advice.

“If you think you might have Monkeypox, please phone ahead before attending a healthcare setting in person so we can ensure a good clinical experience.”

Initial symptoms are usually “non-specific” and are like a viral illness, medics say.

A chickenpox-type rash later spreads across parts of the body.

The rash usually affects the face, hands and arms, but can spread to the genital areas.

But the government has stockpiled vaccines and everyone who has been in contact with someone who has the illness has been given a dose.

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