Boris Johnson says ‘important we keep an eye’ on virus as Scotland gets first case
Monkeypox cases in Britain have almost tripled as further infections continue to be reported in the United States.
The latest set of figures released by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) on Monday afternoon confirmed that the number of cases in England is up by 36, bringing the total number of monkeypox cases confirmed since May 7 aan 56.
Scotland confirmed its first case on the same day, bringing the total to 57.
Meanwhile in the US there have been reports of monkeypox infections in Utah, New York, Massachusetts and Florida.
It comes as sexual activity at raves in Europe may have sparked the international monkeypox outbreak, a leading advisor to the Wêreldgesondheidsorganisasie gesê het.
Dr David Heymann, who formerly headed the global public health body’s emergencies department, said the leading theory focussed on sexual transmission at two events in Spain and Belgium.
There have been more than 100 confirmed or suspected monkeypox infections around the world in the current outbreak, which have mostly been in Europe.
‘Keep an eye’ on monkeypox, warns PM
Boris Johnson has said monkeypox is a rare disease but it is important to “keep an eye on it”.
The prime minister told reporters in London: “It’s basically a very rare disease and so far the consequences don’t seem to be very serious, but it’s important that we keep an eye on it and that’s exactly what the new UK Health Security Agency is doing.”
Asked whether there should be a quarantine for visitors or the use of the smallpox vaccine, Mnr Johnson het gesê: “As things stand the judgment is that it’s rare.
Intussen, Downing Street said there are no plans to hold a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee over monkeypox or to impose any travel bans.
The prime minister’s official spokesman said that while vaccines are being offered to close contacts, there are no plans for an “at scale” vaccination programme.
ICYMI: What are monkeypox symptoms and how does it spread?
Monkeypox, a rare tropical disease spread by wild animals in Africa, has unexpectedly spread abroad this month, posing questions about what precisely it is and how dangerous it might be.
A relatively mild viral infection, the disease has a six-to-16 day incubation period and sees patients first suffer fever, headaches, swellings, back pain, aching muscles and a general listlessness in its opening stages.
Once that passes and the fever breaks, the sufferer will experience a skin eruption, in which a rash spreads across the face, followed by the rest of the body, most commonly the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
The blemishes evolve from lesions into crusted blisters, which can then take three weeks to heal and disappear. While it would have initially been transmitted to humans by contact with the blood or bodily fluids of contaminated primates, or via intermediary rodents such as tree squirrels and Gambian rats, it is much more likely to be caught from fellow humans.
Tropical disease is now detected in UK, VSA, Spain and Portugal
Experts warn against ‘misinformation, stigma and discrimination’ surrounding monkeypox
The WHO has warned against “misinformation, stigma and discrimination” around monkeypox.
Speaking during a question and answer session, Andy Seale, strategic adviser with the WHO’s HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections programme, gesê: “There are ways that we can work with communities to learn from really decades of experience around tackling stigma and discrimination with HIV. We want to apply that lesson, those lessons learned, to this experience.”
ICYMI: Monkey pox cases in UK rise to 57
The number of confirmed monkeypox cases in the UK has gone up to 57. Daar is 56 confirmed cases in England, while Scotland reported its first case on Monday, revealed the figures released by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).
Northern Ireland’s Public Health Agency and Public Health Wales, each said they have had no confirmed cases.
But health officials warned the residents that even though the outbreak is “significant and concerning,” the risk to the UK population remains low.
The government has stocks of the smallpox vaccine which is being offered to very close contacts of those affected.
Those at the highest risk of contracting the disease are being directed to self-isolate at home for 21 days and monitor the symptoms.
‘US health officials releasing some Jynneos vaccine doses for monkeypox’
US health officials are in the process of releasing some Jynneos vaccine doses for use in monkeypox cases, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday.
The US approved the use of more than 1,000 doses of the vaccine from the national stockpile, said the CDC officials, adding they expect this to ramp up quickly in the coming days.
‘We don’t need to panic,’ public health officials say
Monkeypox will not cause the same kind of world-shaping disease outbreak as Covid, according to public health officials.
“We have vaccines squirreled away by our government,” Blossom Damania, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, told NBC. “I don’t think people need to be alarmed. Monkeypox is a serious disease. We need to respect it and take it seriously, but we don’t need to panic.”
There are also two FDA-approved therapeutic drugs for smallpox that will likely treat the rare condition.
LGBTQ+ people ‘notable fraction’ of monkeypox cases, CDC says
Public health officials are quick to note that people of all identities can catch and spread monkeypox, but they have said that a “notable fraction of cases” during this year’s outbreak are among gay and bisexual men.
“Some groups may have a greater chance of exposure right now, but by no means is the current risk of exposure to monkeypox exclusively to the gay and bisexual community in the US,” Dr John Brooks, chief medical officer vir the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, said on Monday. “Anyone, enigiemand, kan ontwikkel [en] spread monkeypox infection, maar … many of those affected in the current global outbreak identified as gay and bisexual men.”
US considered mass vaccinations that could’ve stopped monkeypox
Na die 9/11 aanvalle, US officials considered immunising the entire population against smallpox, a treatment that would’ve also protected against monkeypox.
Egter, the decision was ruled out because older smallpox vaccines carry a small risk of severe side effects, meaning mass vaccination campaigns would inevitably put some at risk.
“In the end, it was decided no, because of the negative consequences of vaccinating lots of people,” Bill Hanage, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, vertel Die New York Times.
“Vaccine side effects are rare," hy het bygevoeg. “But once you start giving it to millions of people, then they will start to add up.”
Washington identifies first likely monkeypox case
King County, home to seattle, has identified its first likely case of monkeypox, according to state health officials.
The patient was identified as a only man who recently traveled to a country where other cases have been identified.
County health leaders said there’s no suspected health outbreak, and that less than a dozen people had close contact with the man.
The CDC will continue monitoring the situation, along with King County.
A new term for your public health vocabulary: ring vaccination
When it comes to monkeypox, there are some notable differences with Covid, which make the former much less likely to spread in mass numbers than the latter.
The disease requires prolonged in-person or fluid-to-fluid contact, and can be treated with multiple existing vaccines and therapeutic treatments.
As gevolg daarvan, public health officials are considering “ring vaccination” a likely approach going forward.
Using this methodology, rather than conduct mass vaccination campaigns, doctors will instead be more targetted, giving vaccines to close contacts of confirmed cases until an outbreak is stopped in its tracks.