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The UK Government has ordered Brits who have come into contact with monkeypox to self isolate for 21 days.
Amid an increase in cases, the UK Health Security Agency has issued a warning to those who are in the high risk category to stay away from pregnant women, kids under 12 and people with suppressed immunity.
UKHSA has confirmed 20 cases in the UK so far, however, that number is expected to rise.
They say that household contact, sexual contact, or having changed an infected person’s bedding without wearing appropriate PPE are all ways someone might have contracted the infection.
The agency also advises that a smallpox vaccine has been offered to those effected.
The guidance comes after Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser for UKHSA, warned that monkeypox is spreading through community transmission.
Dr Hopkins said updated figures for the weekend will be given on Monday as she warned of more cases 'on a daily basis'.
Dr Hopkins warned that doctors are seeing community transmission, with cases predominantly being identified in individuals who self-identify as gay or bisexual or men who have sex with other men.
Speaking to BBC One’s Sunday Morning, Dr Hopkins said: “We will be releasing updated numbers tomorrow – over-the-weekend figures.
“We are detecting more cases on a daily basis and I’d like to thank all of those people who are coming forward for testing to sexual health clinics, to the GPs and emergency department.”
Asked if there is community transmission in the UK, she said: “Absolutely, we are finding cases that have no identified contact with an individual from west Africa, which is what we’ve seen previously in this country.
“The community transmission is largely centred in urban areas and we are predominantly seeing it in individuals who self-identify as gay or bisexual, or other men who have sex with men.”
Asked why it is being found in that demographic, she said: “That’s because of the frequent close contacts they may have.
“We would recommend to anyone who is having changes in sex partners regularly, or having close contact with individuals that they don’t know, to come forward if they develop a rash.”
With regards to needing a vaccination, she said: “There is no direct vaccine for monkeypox but we are using a form of smallpox vaccine – a third-generation, smallpox vaccine that is safe in individuals who are contacts of cases.
“So we’re not using it in the general population.
“We’re using it in individuals who we believe are at high risk of developing symptoms, and using it early, particularly within four or five days of the case developing symptoms.
“For contacts, (this) reduces your risk of developing disease, so that’s how we’re focusing our vaccination efforts at this point.”
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: UK News
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