A total of seven cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in England so far, but health experts say the risk to the general public is very low. Here’s everything you need to know
Four other people in England have been diagnosed with monkeypox, bringing the total number of cases to seven. Health authorities emphasize that the risk to the general public remains very low.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) says it has identified common contacts for two of the four most recently confirmed cases. All four of those infected self-identify as gay, bisexual, or men who have sex with men.
The UKHSA’s Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. Susan Hopkins, has urged gay and bisexual men to be alert for any unusual lesions or rashes and to contact a sexual health service as soon as possible if they notice any. How the current outbreak came about is still unclear.
Where are the monkeypox cases in the UK?
So far there have been a total of seven confirmed cases of monkeypox in the UK. cases were reported in London and the North East of England.
On May 7th, the first case was confirmed in England, and on May 14th two more cases, apparently unrelated to the original, were reported. A further three cases were confirmed on May 16, three in London and one in north-east England.
According to the UKHSA, all four new cases have the West African strain of monkeypox, which is thought to be milder than the Central African strain. The first case was reported in a patient who recently traveled to Nigeria, where he is believed to have contracted the virus.
However, the agency says there is no link between the latest confirmed cases and travel to a country where monkeypox is endemic. How these patients contracted the virus is currently being investigated.
How to tell the difference between monkeypox and chickenpox
That NHS says that monkeypox is sometimes confused with chickenpox. Like chickenpox, monkeypox causes a skin rash that causes small fluid-filled patches that can subsequently become scaly and form scars.
However, monkeypox belongs to a different family of viruses than chickenpox.
The monkeypox virus is related to the virus that once caused smallpox in humans. Smallpox was declared completely eradicated by the World Health Organization in 1980, with the last known smallpox death in the UK occurring in 1978.
Monkeypox symptoms usually appear within five to 21 days of infection and usually disappear within two to four weeks. First symptoms are high temperature, headache, muscle pain, back pain, swollen glands, chills and exhaustion.