77 more monkeypox cases brings UK total to more than 300

·2-min read

A further 77 cases of monkeypox have been detected in the UK, latest figures from health officials show.

This brings the total number confirmed in the UK to 302 as of June 5, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said.

There are currently 287 confirmed cases in England, 10 in Scotland, two in Northern Ireland and 3 in Wales.

The UKHSA’s latest figures show 73 additional cases of monkeypox in England, two additional cases in Scotland and two in Wales.

A UKHSA spokesperson said: “Anyone can get monkeypox, particularly if you have had close contact, including sexual contact, with an individual with symptoms. People who are gay or bisexual and men who have sex with men remain disproportionately affected.”

The UKHSA is asking anyone with a rash with blisters who has been in close contact, including sexual contact, with someone who has or might have monkeypox in the past three weeks to contact a sexual health clinic.

The stages of Monkeypox (UK Health Security Agency/PA) (PA Media)
The stages of Monkeypox (UK Health Security Agency/PA) (PA Media)

It is giving the same advice to anyone with a rash with blisters who has been to West or Central Africa in the past three weeks.

Health officials insisted the risk to the general population “remains low” because the virus, which is transmitted through close physical contact, does not spread easily.

It can live on surfaces such as bedsheets or towels, however.

Last week, data from the UKHSA said that more than 50% of cases in England have been found in men who are gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men.

Most monkeypox cases have occurred in people aged 20 to 49 years old.

The World Health Organisation said on Sunday there have been 780 confirmed cases of monkeypox in countries where the virus is not usually found.

That is roughly triple the 257 cases it reported a week ago.

It says the figure - for the past three weeks - is probably an underestimate and assesses the global risk level as “moderate”.

The infection is usually mild, but this is the first time it has spread widely outside Central and West Africa.

The WHO said cases had been identified in 27 countries where it is not already “endemic” - meaning places it is expected to be found.

Most of these new cases are in Europe and North America as well as small numbers in Mexico, Argentina, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.

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