Monkeypox horror: UK infections more than DOUBLE as cases soar to 56 in latest update

Monkeypox: Health agency urges people to look out for symptoms

In its latest update, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said on Monday, May 23, that 36 additional cases of the disease have been detected in England. It brings the total number of monkeypox cases confirmed in England since May 7 to 56.


Dr Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Adviser, UKHSA, said: “Alongside reports of further cases being identified in other countries globally, we continue to identify additional cases in the UK.

“Thank you to everyone who has come forward for testing already and supported our contact tracing efforts – you are helping us limit the spread of this infection in the UK.”

“Because the virus spreads through close contact, we are urging everyone to be aware of any unusual rashes or lesions and to contact a sexual health service if they have any symptoms.  

“A notable proportion of recent cases in the UK and Europe have been found in gay and bisexual men so we are particularly encouraging these men to be alert to the symptoms.”


Monkeypox cases have more than doubled in England (Image: Getty)


A man with monkeypox blisters on his hands (Image: Getty)

According to the UKHSA, the virus does not usually spread easily between people, but can be passed on through close person to person contact or with items used by a person who has monkeypox. This includes clothes, bedding or utensils. Monkeypox is usually a self-limiting illness, and most people recover within a few weeks.

The UKHSA says that while the current outbreak is “significant and concerning”, the risk to the population in the UK remains low.

It advises that anyone with unusual rashes or lesions on any part of their body, especially their genitalia, should immediately contact NHS 111 or their local sexual health service. 

UKHSA also advises that high risk close contacts of confirmed cases should isolate for 21 days.



A boy is treated for monkeypox by a medic (Image: Getty)


A health official waits to check passengers for monkeypox at an airport in Indonesia (Image: Getty)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the Government is looking carefully at the circumstances surrounding the transmission of the disease.

He said: “It is basically a very rare disease and so far the consequences don’t seem to be very serious but it is important that we keep an eye on it.”

Downing Street said there are no plans to hold a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee over monkeypox or to impose any travel bans.

Asked about travel restrictions from affected countries, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “No, no considerations of that kind. What we’re seeing at the moment is community transmission not linked to travel.”

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Long Covid explained (Image: Express)

He added that vaccines are being offered to close contacts but no plans for an “at scale” vaccination programme.

The spokesman said: “We do have vaccines procured at significant numbers but given the nature of this and how we know it’s spreading, it’s thought to be no clinical requirement for that sort of at scale campaign.”

Maria van Kerkhove, the WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonoses lead, said on Monday, May 23 that the more than 100 suspected and confirmed cases in the recent outbreak in Europe and North America have not been severe.

The outbreaks have caused some alarm because monkeypox mostly occurs in west and central Africa. It only very occasionally spreads elsewhere.


A man’s temperature is checked as health officials check for monkeypox in Indonesia (Image: Getty)

Scotland confirmed its first case on Monday, Public Health Scotland said in a statement, adding the person was receiving treatment while their contacts were being traced.

Public health officials north of the border confirmed that a “small number” of smallpox vaccine shots, which are effective against monkeypox, have been stockpiled in Scotland.

The UK Government has ordered in several thousand doses of the jab which is understood to be about 85 percent effective against the disease.

Dr Nick Phin, director of public health science and medical director at Public Health Scotland (PHS), said a small number of shots of the vaccine, had been sent to Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Initial symptoms of the virus include fever or high temperature; head, muscle and back ache; swollen lymph nodes; chills and exhaustion.

A blister-like rash or small number of blister-like sores can also develop, starting on the face but spreading across the body.

The rash changes throughout the infection, finally forming a scab which falls off within weeks.

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