UK: ‘Early signs’ that monkeypox outbreak may be peaking

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London- British Health Officials said on Friday that the outbreak of monkeypox across the country may have peaked and the rate of growth of the epidemic has slowed.

There were “early signs that the outbreak is plateauing,” the UK’s Health Protection Agency said in a statement, with 2,859 cases detected since May. No death has been reported. Last month, officials estimated the outbreak was doubling in size every two weeks, but the number of new infections has declined in recent weeks.

Dr. Meera Chand, director of clinical and emerging infections at the Health Protection Agency, said: “While recent data suggests that the growth of the outbreak has slowed, we cannot be complacent. that they may have monkeypox, they should skip meetings.Avoid friends, social gatherings, and sexual contact.

The Health Protection Agency said its most recent analysis of the outbreak shows that monkeypox continues to be transmitted primarily in interconnected sexual networks of men who are gay, bisexual, or who have sex with other men. More than 70% of UK cases are in London.

British officials noted a small number of infections in women, but said there was not enough evidence to suggest that there was a continued spread of monkeypox beyond gay and bisexual men; 99% of cases in the UK are in men.

Scientists who analyzed monkeypox virus in the UK found many mutations compared to the spread of the virus AfricaBut said there is no evidence that those genetic changes made monkeypox more contagious.

Experts suspect that monkeypox outbreaks in North America and Europe may have occurred long before sex spread in Africa in two waves in Spain and Belgium.

The World Health Organization said this week that 92% of monkeypox cases beyond Africa were likely transmitted through sex and its director-general recently appealed to vulnerable gay and bisexual men to stop their sexual partners “for the time being”. Consider reducing.

So far, more than 26,000 monkeypox cases have been reported in nearly 90 countries, a 19% increase over the past week.

In June, British officials expanded their vaccination strategy, offering not only vaccines Health Workers treating monkeypox patients and high-risk contacts of patients, but also some men who are gay or bisexual and at high risk of catching the virus, who have multiple sexual partners or who participate in group sex.

Last month, the UK downgraded its assessment of monkeypox outbreaks and dropped the recommendation to isolate for three weeks for contacts of monkeypox cases unless they have symptoms. The change was prompted by data showing that only a small number of contacts eventually become ill with monkeypox and a lack of evidence that the disease is transmitted without close, intimate or sexual contact.

On Thursday, the US declared its monkeypox outbreak a national emergency, with the WHO declaring it a global emergency last month.

Monkeypox is spread when people come into physical contact with an infected person’s wounds, close to their clothing or sheets. Most people recover without the need for treatment, but wounds can be extremely painful and in more severe cases, complications can occur, including encephalitis and death.

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