78 cases of monkeypox confirmed in the UK

·2 min read

Seven more cases of monkeypox have been identified in England, health officials have said.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said the new cases bring the UK total since May 7 to 78.

Among these cases, 77 were identified in England and one case has been reported in Scotland.

As of May 24, no cases had been identified in Wales or Northern Ireland.

People with unusual rashes or lesions, particularly if they have had a new sexual partner, have been urged to contact NHS 111 or their local sexual health clinic.

But health officials stressed people should phone ahead before attending in person.

Despite the rise in cases, the UKHSA said that the risk to the UK population “remains low”.

The health body said that a “notable proportion of the cases” identified have been among people who are gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men.

These people in particularly have been urged to be aware of symptoms, particularly if they have recently had a new sexual partner.

Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser of the UKHSA, said: “We are continuing to promptly detect new monkeypox cases through our extensive surveillance network and NHS services.

“If anyone suspects they might have rashes or lesions on any part of their body, 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.”

UKHSA teams have been tracing high-risk contacts of those with a confirmed case and are advising contacts to isolate for 21 days.

It is also offering a smallpox vaccine to close contacts to reduce their risk of symptoms and severe illness.

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