UK records 77 new monkeypox cases
The United Kingdom on Monday recorded 77 new infections of monkeypox, taking the total number of cases of the virus to 302.
According to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), 73 cases of monkeypox were detected in England, 2 in Scotland and 2 in Wales.
“This brings the total number confirmed in the UK to 302 as of 5 June. There are currently 287 confirmed cases in England, 10 in Scotland, 2 in Northern Ireland and 3 in Wales,” the UKHSA said in a statement.
“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 agency added.
The government has advised people who have been in contact with those affected and have shown symptoms of the virus, which includes a rash with blisters, to contact a sexual health clinic.
Although the risk of monkeypox to the general public remains low as the virus is transmitted through close physical contact and does not spread easily, the UKHSA has urged people to remain cautious.
"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,” Professor Kevin Fenton, public health regional director of the UKHSA, said.
According to data released by the agency last week, over 50% of cases recorded in England were found in men who identified as homosexual or bisexual. Of the 190 cases recorded from 6-31 May, 111 cases were males who identified as homosexual or bisexual.
Cases of monkeypox have been identified in 27 countries, according to the World Health Organization. Most of the cases have been recorded in North America and Europe with reports of small numbers in Central and South America, North Africa and the Middle East.