Monkeypox: 77 more cases detected in UK taking total to 302

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A further 77 cases of monkeypox have been detected in the UK, health officials have said.

It brings the total number of confirmed cases in the UK to 302, as of 5 June.

73 of the additional cases of monkeypox were in England, with two in Scotland and two in Wales.

The UKHSA said there are currently 287 confirmed cases in England, 10 in Scotland, two in Northern Ireland and three in Wales.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has 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.

People are advised to look out for rashes that are unusual to them or an ulceration.

The government did not release updates on the number of daily monkeypox cases over much of the bank holiday weekend but said on Thursday that 11 cases were reported.

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.

Of the 190 cases reported between 6 and 31 May, 111 cases were males known to be gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, the UKHSA said.

Professor Kevin Fenton, who is the UKHSA's public health regional director, said: "Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that doesn't spread very easily between people but can be passed on by close physical contact, such as kissing, skin to skin contact, sex and sharing things like bedding and towels."

On Sunday, the World Health Organisation said that there have been 780 confirmed cases in countries where the virus is not usually found.

The WHO said cases had been identified in 27 countries where it is not already "endemic" - meaning places it is expected to be found, with most new cases in Europe and North America as well as small numbers in Mexico, Argentina, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.

The UK has the most cases followed by Spain and Portugal.