Eleven more people have been diagnosed with monkeypox in England, bringing the total number of infected people in the UK to 207.
Announcing the new cases today, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) reiterated that the majority of cases were among gay and bisexual men.
Officials said it was “especially important” that these men be aware of new wounds, blemishes or scars and contact a sexual health clinic.
The new cases bring the total number confirmed in England to 199, with five in Scotland, two in Northern Ireland and one in Wales.
Scientists are still unsure what the current outbreak is, now that it has appeared in two dozen countries, the virus is usually confined to people returning from Africa.
In a report published last night, the UKHSA revealed that a group of UK cases linked to gay bars, saunas and dating apps.
More than 60 per cent of domestic infections are among gay and bisexual men, with more than 86 per cent of epicenters in London. There are only two cases of women.
The majority of infections in the UK – 87 per cent – were in people between the ages of 20 and 49. And 111 cases are known to involve men having sex with men.
And more patients in the UK were infected in the UK than abroad.
Officials said contact tracing teams linked the outbreak to ‘gay bars, saunas and the use of dating apps in the UK and abroad’.
MailOnline revealed last week that Grinder, the world’s largest gay dating app, had alerted users to the symptoms of MonkeyPix.
Since the first infection was discovered in early May, there have been 617 confirmed cases of monkeypox worldwide, with an additional 129 suspected.
After the United Kingdom, Spain (156), Portugal (138) and Canada (54) have the most confirmed cases.
Authorities are urging gay and bisexual men to be aware of new wounds, scars or scabs and contact a sexual health clinic.
Infection often begins with small bumps that turn gray and become contagious
London is the epicenter of Monkeypox in the UK and only two women have been infected.
London has become the focal point of the British Monkey Pox.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) estimates that more than 60 per cent of household infections are among gay and bisexual men, with more than 86 per cent of epicenters in London.
There are only two cases of women.
Most infections in the country – 87 percent – were in people between the ages of 20 and 49.
And 111 cases are known to involve men having sex with men.
The majority of patients in the UK contracted the virus in the UK, rather than abroad, which is important because previously tropical disease was limited to a small number linked to travel to Africa.
In a report released Wednesday night, the UKHSA released its first analysis, covering the country’s first 153 cases.
As of May 31, of the 153 cases in England, 132 were London residents (86 per cent).
Only five cases have traveled from European countries in the past three weeks, suggesting a large majority carried the virus in the UK.
The report states: ‘Research so far has identified links to gay bars, saunas and dating apps in the UK and abroad.
“Investigations are ongoing but no single factor or exposure that connects the cases has been identified so far.”
MailOnline revealed that Grinder issued a warning to its users across Europe last Monday, advising them or any recent sexual partners to contact their sexual health provider if they have unusual injuries or blemishes.
The UKHSA is working with the app to communicate health risks to gay and bisexual men, as well as the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) and the British HIV Association.
The current outbreak is linked to several super-spreader events, including a gay pride celebration in Gran Canaria on May 5-15, a fetish celebration in Belgium on May 5-8 and a ‘sauna’ in Spain.
This comes amid concerns among health experts that monkey pox may be transmitted to animals through human waste.
As the virus spreads beyond Africa, there is an opportunity for it to spread to animal populations, which could potentially localize the virus to countries outside Africa.
The president of the World Organization for Animal Health, Dr. William Karesh said at a conference today: “We’ve seen Kovid-19, one thing has come up … Disposable human medicine is rubbish because we’re worried about it being picked up by mice.”
He added, ‘Rural local clinics keep their garbage out after a week until it is properly disposed of.
Since the virus was first detected in humans in the 1970’s, African countries have experienced sporadic monkey pox outbreaks. Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated in Nigeria since 2017.
The virus was first detected in laboratory monkeys in 1958 and has since been identified as highly susceptible to various animal species, including squirrels and mice.
It is understood that the animal jumped on humans, but it was not clear which species was involved in the spillover, Dr Karesh said.
In the UK, pets of people infected with monkey pox have been isolated in an effort to control the disease.
These include pets like hamsters, mice and rabbits.
UKHSA teams are also contacting high-risk contacts with confirmed cases and advising them to stay at home in self-isolation for three weeks and stay away from contact with children.
Imvanex vaccine is proposed to create a buffer of immune individuals around confirmed cases to limit the spread of the disease to both confirmed cases and close contact.
This strategy, known as ring vaccine, has been used in previous monkey pox outbreaks and is also practiced in some EU countries.
Professor Kevin Fenton, London Regional Director for Public Health, said: ‘Monkeypox can affect anyone but we know that many recent diagnoses have been made in men who are gay, bisexual, and have sex with other men, most of whom live, or are. Links to London.
‘We are reminding everyone to be especially aware of the symptoms of monkeypacks and especially gay and bisexual men and to seek advice by calling NHS 111 or their local sexual health clinic.
‘As with any new disease outbreak, the risk of stigma and uncertainty is great.
“We are therefore working closely with the NHS, sexual health, voluntary and community sector organizations in London, especially through representative voices, to share accurate information about monkeys with people and groups at increased risk.”
Timeline of Monkeypox
1958: The monkeys were first discovered after an outbreak of a disease like pox in monkeys kept for research.
1970: The first human case was recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1970 and has since been reported in many Central and West African countries.
2003: Monkeys outbreak in the US after rats were brought from Africa Cases were reported in both human and domestic prairie dogs. All human infections came in contact with infected pets and all patients recovered.
September 8, 2018: Monkey Pix appeared for the first time in the UK on a Nigerian naval officer who went to Cornwall for training. He was treated at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
September 11, 2018: The case of the second British monkey pox has been confirmed in Blackpool. There is no link to the first case in Cornwall. Instead, the patient contracted the infection while traveling in Nigeria. He was treated at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and Royal Liverpool University Hospital.
September 26, 2018: A third person has been found to have monkey pox. The man worked at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and was treated for a second case of monkeypox. He was treated at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
December 3, 2019: This is the fourth case of a patient being diagnosed with monkey pox in England.
May 25, 2021: Two cases of monkey pox have been identified in North Wales. Both patients had travel links to Nigeria.
A third person with one case was diagnosed and hospitalized, bringing the total to seven.
May 7, 2022: A man was found to have monkeypox in England after a recent trip to Nigeria. The man was cared for in a specialist infectious disease unit of the Guys and St. Thomas NHS Foundation Trust in London.
May 14, 2022: Two more confirmed cases in London The infected couple lived in the same house but were not in contact with the case, which was announced a week ago.
One of them was taken to the specialist infectious disease unit at St Mary’s Hospital in London. Isolation and hospital treatment were not required in another house.
May 16, 2022: Four more cases were announced, bringing the total to seven in the UK. Three of these cases are in London, while one of their contacts is infected in the north-east of England.
The number of cases was described as “unusual” and “surprising” as experts warned gay and bisexual men to look for new pimples.
May 19, 2022: Two more cases not connected with any travel link or other cases were revealed. The cases were based in the southeast and London. Fear grew that the infection would not be detected.
May 20, 2022Eleven more cases have been announced, meaning the number of monkey pox cases in the UK has doubled to 20. Ministers discuss the possibility of a public health campaign to warn gay men that the disease could spread further.
May 23, 2022: Scotland announces first monkey pox case and 36 more infections in England This brings the total to 57 in the UK.
May 24, 2022The number of cases in the UK has risen to 71 after 14 more cases were reported in England.
May 25, 2022: Seven more infections have been found in England, meaning 78 cases have been found in the UK.
May 26, 2022Wales and Northern Ireland have found their first monkey pox cases in a recent outbreak, while Scotland has found two more cases and England has taken eight, bringing the total number in the UK to 90.
May 27, 2022: England have detected 16 more cases, meaning 106 cases have been confirmed in the UK.
May 29, 2022: The World Health Organization (WHO) says the risk of monkeys is “moderate”, citing concerns that the virus could infect children and people with immunosuppressants if it becomes more widespread.
May 30, 2022: The number of monkey pox cases in the UK has risen to 179 after the UK discovered an additional 71 cases. In just three days, the number of infected people has increased by 70 percent.
May 31, 2022: The number of infected people has reached 190 after 11 people were found infected in the UK.
June 1, 2022: Another five cases have been found in England and one in Scotland, which means the UK now has 196 cases.
June 2, 2022: Eleven more cases have been found in England, bringing the total number in the UK to more than 200.
Source: | This article is originally from Dailymail.co.uk