Monkeypox UK symptoms LIVE – Virus infections hit 106 as WHO warns this could be the 'peak of the iceberg'

MULTIPLE scientists and studies have warned about the monkeypox virus for years as the alarm was first raised in 2018.

A British scientist at a level four biosecurity lab – Porton Down, which works with smallpox-like viruses – first warned about its epidemic-causing potential four years ago.

They warned how the emergence of monkeypox could have 'potentially devastating consequences' for the majority of the world's population.

The World Health Organization has warned that 200 monkeypox cases found in recent weeks outside countries where the virus usually circulates could be just the beginning.

Sylvie Briand, WHO’s epidemic and pandemic preparedness and prevention chief said: “We don’t know if we are just seeing the peak of the iceberg [or] if there are many more cases that are undetected in communities.”

Here are the five crucial warnings that were missed: 

  1. September 2018: Porton Down scientist warns of potential 'devastating consequences' of monkeypox 
  2. June 2019: A coalition of experts met at Chatham House in London to discuss how monkeypox 'might fill the epidemiological niche vacated by smallpox'. They warned 70% of world is vulnerable to monkeypox
  3. September 2020: Two years ago, a paper published by the WHO warned the 'epidemic potential' of monkeypox was increasing.
  4. November 2021: Monkeypox pandemic model warns virus could kill 300million in about 18 months.
  5. February 2022: Scientists say monkeypox is a disease in 'resurgence' in a research review in the Neglected Tropical Diseases journal. It was published just a few months before the current outbreak

Read our Monkeypox blog below for the latest news and updates…

  • Joseph Gamp

    The UK’s small outbreak of Monkeypox

    THE UK has seen a small outbreak of monkeypox – but many people still don’t know much about the virus.

    The mystery outbreaks, starting in May 2022, are concerning health leaders. However, the threat to the public is still considered low.

    While monkeypox is a mild illness which gets better with time, in very rare cases it can lead to death. About six per cent of cases are fatal, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

    One world health leader has said sex occurring at two raves in Europe could be behind the mystery monkeypox outbreaks. 

    Professor David Heymann, who formerly headed WHO’s emergencies department, said the leading theory “was sexual transmission among gay and bisexual men at two raves held in Spain and Belgium”, AP reported.

    Dr Heymann said it is one hypothesis among many, and added it’s known that monkeypox can spread when there is close contact with the lesions of someone who is infected, “and it looks like sexual contact has now amplified that transmission”.

    Monkeypox is not known as a sexually transmitted infection (STI), but it can be passed on by direct contact during sex, possibly through contaminated items such as bed linen, clothing and towels.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Monkeypox can be contained ‘if we act now’ says WHO

    Countries should take quick steps to contain the spread of monkeypox and share data about their vaccine stockpiles, a senior World Health Organization official said on Friday.

    “We think that if we put in place the right measures now we probably can contain this easily,” Sylvie Briand, WHO director for Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness, told the U.N. agency’s annual assembly.

    “For us, we think that the key priority currently is trying to contain this transmission in non-endemic countries,” Briand told a technical briefing for member states.

    “We don’t know exactly the number of doses available in the world and so that’s why we encourage countries to come to WHO and tell us what are their stockpiles,” she said.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Overall risk to population ‘remains low’ says UKHSA

    Despite the rise in cases, the UKHSA has said the risk to the overall UK population “remains low”.

    Gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men are being urged in particular to be aware of symptoms, especially if they have recently had a new sexual partner.

    UKHSA teams have been tracing contacts of those with a confirmed case and are advising those at highest risk to isolate for 21 days.

    A smallpox vaccine is also being offered to close contacts to reduce their risk of symptoms and severe illness.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Expert warning monkeypox could become ‘permanent’ if PETS get it

    EXPERTS have warned monkeypox could become permanent in Europe if pets start catching it too.

    There have still not been any reports of monkeypox in pets, but in a rapid risk assessment on Monday, the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) said it was important to “manage exposed pets and prevent the disease from being transmitted to wildlife”.

    Issuing the update, the ECDC said: “If human-to-animal transmission occurs, and the virus spreads in an animal population, there is a risk that the disease could become endemic in Europe.

    “Rodents, and particularly species of the family of Sciuridae (squirrels) are likely to be suitable hosts, more so than humans, and transmission from humans to (pet) animals is theoretically possible.

    “Such a spill-over event could potentially lead to the virus establishing in European wildlife and the disease becoming an endemic zoonosis. The probability of this spill-over event is very low.”

    Prof David Robertson, of the Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, told the Telegraph this was a “valid concern”.

    He said: “It would seem sensible to monitor any animals/pets that infected people are in contact with.”

    Experts believe rodents, such as rats and squirrels, can harbour the virus but the full range of animals at risk is not yet known.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Explained: What is the UKHSA public health advice?

    The NHS suggests that it is rare that anyone in the UK who has not been in contact with an infected person or travelled to Africa recently will have the virus.

    If you are infected you should isolate and inform the NHS.

    Nevertheless, they suggest washing your hands regularly with soap or hand sanitiser and only eating meat which has been fully cooked.

    They also have a list of things to avoid:

    • Avoid wild or stray animals, including dead animals
    • Avoid any animals that appear unwell
    • Do not eat or touch meat from wild animals (bush meat)
    • Do not share bedding or towels with people who are unwell and may have monkeypox
    • Do not have close contact with people who are unwell and may have monkeypox

    Argentina reports Latin America’s first confirmed monkeypox case

    Argentina reported Latin America’s first confirmed case of the monkeypox virus on Friday in a man who recently traveled to Spain.

    The man, who is from the province of Buenos Aires, has monkeypox but health authorities are waiting to finish sequencing the virus before making the official announcement, said an official in Argentinas Health Ministry.

    The official requested anonymity until the official announcement.

    It is the first time the presence of the virus has been confirmed in Latin America.

    Authorities have revealed little about the patient beyond saying he traveled to Spain from April 28 and remained there until May 16.

    They confirmed the man displayed symptoms associated with monkeypox – including lesions and a fever – on Sunday.

    Italy’s monkeypox infections rise to 12

    Italy’s health ministry said on Friday the nation’s total monkeypox cases had risen to 12, while one was still under scrutiny.

    Several other cases of monkeypox have recently been reported in countries outside of Africa, where most infections had been detected so far.

    Spain’s Monkeypox tally rises to 84

    Spanish health authorities have today reported 25 new cases of monkeypox.

    The new figure brings the total tally of infections in one of the main hot spots of the recent outbreak to 84.

    The Health Ministry, which now considers all non-human-origin pox infections as monkeypox after a positive test while before only counting those confirmed by sequencing, also said there were 73 suspected cases.

    Minister of Health Carolina Darias on Wednesday said Spain would buy monkeypox vaccines as part of the EU joint vaccine purchases and confirmed that the west African strain, which has a fatality rate in about 1% of cases, was the one detected in Spain.

    Spain, England and Portugal are the countries with the most cases in the recent outbreak of the usually mild viral disease outside its endemic areas in parts of west and central Africa.

    Monkeypox patients could be infectious WEEKS after recovery

    SEVERE monkeypox patients may be infectious for up to ten weeks, scientists fear.

    An investigation of previous patients who had the disease found one man tested positive more than 70 days after he first showed symptoms.

    It comes as cases of the virus reach 71 in the UK, and health officials have urged people to stay alert to symptoms.

    Signs of the disease in the early stages include fever, headache, chills, back and muscle aches.

    Patients are contagious until their scabs fall off, the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) says, and the scabs themselves can contain viral material.

    However, the latest study, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, suggests people may be infectious long after their rash has settled.

    Study author Dr Hugh Adler, from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, said: “It remains positive in the throat and blood for the length of the illness and maybe even longer after the rash is resolved. 

    “We don’t know that this means these patients are more infectious or infectious for longer, but it does inform us of the biology of disease.”

    • Joseph Gamp

      16 new cases detected in England, UK total now 106

      A further 16 cases of monkeypox have been detected in England, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said.

      The latest cases bring the total number confirmed in England since May 7 to 101.

      There have been three confirmed cases in Scotland, one in Wales and one in Northern Ireland, taking the UK total to 106.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Italy's monkeypox infections rise to 12

      Italy's health ministry said on Friday the nation's total monkeypox cases had risen to 12, while one was still under scrutiny.

      Several other cases of monkeypox have recently been reported in countries outside of Africa, where most infections had been detected so far.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Monkeypox can be contained 'if we act now' says WHO

      Countries should take quick steps to contain the spread of monkeypox and share data about their vaccine stockpiles, a senior World Health Organization official said on Friday.

      "We think that if we put in place the right measures now we probably can contain this easily," Sylvie Briand, WHO director for Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness, told the U.N. agency's annual assembly.

      "For us, we think that the key priority currently is trying to contain this transmission in non-endemic countries," Briand told a technical briefing for member states.

      "We don't know exactly the number of doses available in the world and so that’s why we encourage countries to come to WHO and tell us what are their stockpiles," she said.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Explained: What is the public health advice?

      The NHS suggests that it is rare that anyone in the UK who has not been in contact with an infected person or travelled to Africa recently will have the virus.

      If you are infected you should isolate and inform the NHS.

      Nevertheless, they suggest washing your hands regularly with soap or hand sanitiser and only eating meat which has been fully cooked.

      They also have a list of things to avoid:

      • Avoid wild or stray animals, including dead animals
      • Avoid any animals that appear unwell
      • Do not eat or touch meat from wild animals (bush meat)
      • Do not share bedding or towels with people who are unwell and may have monkeypox
      • Do not have close contact with people who are unwell and may have monkeypox

      The origins of monkeypox

      Monkeypox is a rare viral infection which is endemic in remote parts of Central and West Africa.

      But outbreaks in Britain, Portugal, Spain and the United States, have triggered alarm among public health experts.

      According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the name monkeypox originates from the initial discovery of the virus in monkeys in a Danish laboratory in 1958.

      The first human case was identified in a child in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970.

      Holiday warning as monkeypox hits favourite UK summer destination

      A BRITISH tourist staying at a favourite holiday hotspot in Spain is being tested for monkeypox.

      Health chiefs in the region confirmed the holidaymaker on the Canary Island of Fuerteventura was one of five suspected new cases currently being analysed.

      The age of the unnamed man, thought to be the first British tourist in Spain affected since the country announced its first cases last week, has not been revealed.

      A spokesman for the Canary Islands’ Health Service confirmed in a short statement: “A suspected case of monkeypox in Fuerteventura corresponds to a British tourist.”

      It is not yet known when they will confirm whether he has the disease.

      Authorities have not said if he is holidaying alone on the island or relaxing with relatives who are also being tested.

      Spain has so far confirmed around 40 cases of monkeypox and said another 67 people are being tested.

      • Joseph Gamp

        UK monkeypox total now at 106, says UKHSA

        Sixteen more cases of monkeypox have been identified in England, health officials said.

        The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said the new cases bring the England total since May 7 to 101, and the UK total to 106.

        There have been three confirmed cases in Scotland, one in Wales and one in Northern Ireland.

        People with unusual rashes or lesions, particularly if they have had a new sexual partner, have been urged to limit their contact with others and contact NHS 111 or their local sexual health clinic.

        Despite the rise in cases, the UKHSA said the risk to the UK population "remains low" as the virus does not spread easily.

        Men who are gay or bisexual and men who have sex with men are being urged in particular to be aware of symptoms as the health body said "the majority of the cases identified to date" have been among this group.

        Dr Susan Hopkins, UKHSA chief medical adviser, said: "We are continuing to promptly identify further monkeypox cases in England through our extensive surveillance and contact tracing networks, our vigilant NHS services, and thanks to people coming forward with symptoms.

        "We are asking people to look out for new spots, ulcers or blisters on any part of their body. If anyone suspects they might have these, particularly if they have recently had a new sexual partner, they should limit their contact with others and contact NHS 111 or their local sexual health service as soon as possible, though please phone ahead before attending in person."

      • Joseph Gamp

        Argentina reports Latin America's first confirmed monkeypox case

        Argentina reported Latin America's first confirmed case of the monkeypox virus on Friday in a man who recently traveled to Spain.

        The man, who is from the province of Buenos Aires, has monkeypox but health authorities are waiting to finish sequencing the virus before making the official announcement, said an official in Argentinas Health Ministry.

        The official requested anonymity until the official announcement.

        It is the first time the presence of the virus has been confirmed in Latin America.

        Authorities have revealed little about the patient beyond saying he traveled to Spain from April 28 and remained there until May 16.

        They confirmed the man displayed symptoms associated with monkeypox – including lesions and a fever – on Sunday.

      • Joseph Gamp

        Monkeypox patients could be infectious WEEKS after recovery

        SEVERE monkeypox patients may be infectious for up to ten weeks, scientists fear.

        An investigation of previous patients who had the disease found one man tested positive more than 70 days after he first showed symptoms.

        It comes as cases of the virus reach 71 in the UK, and health officials have urged people to stay alert to symptoms.

        Signs of the disease in the early stages include fever, headache, chills, back and muscle aches.

        Patients are contagious until their scabs fall off, the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) says, and the scabs themselves can contain viral material.

        However, the latest study, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, suggests people may be infectious long after their rash has settled.

        Study author Dr Hugh Adler, from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, said: “It remains positive in the throat and blood for the length of the illness and maybe even longer after the rash is resolved. 

        “We don’t know that this means these patients are more infectious or infectious for longer, but it does inform us of the biology of disease.”

      • Joseph Gamp

        BREAKING: 16 new cases detected in England, UK total now 106

        A further 16 cases of monkeypox have been detected in England, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said.

        The latest cases bring the total number confirmed in England since May 7 to 101.

        There have been three confirmed cases in Scotland, one in Wales and one in Northern Ireland, taking the UK total to 106.

      • Joseph Gamp

        Covid-19 hospital cases at lowest rate since last summer

        Covid-19 hospital cases have fallen to their lowest rate since last summer, an expert has said.

        Professor Linda Bauld said on Friday that daily hospital cases with the virus had dropped to less than 50, the first time the figure has dropped so low in almost a year.

        She also added there were "about 650" people in hospital with the virus, compared to more than 2,000 last month.

        "We've seen a significant decline in levels of infection in the community," she told BBC Radio Scotland on Friday.

        "The (Office for National Statistics) infection survey will have some results out today that shows another drop."

        She added: "That R number – which nobody is hearing about any more, but is still with us – is well below … it's between 0.7 and 0.9."

        However, Prof Bauld stressed that the virus had not gone away and the potential for new variants continues.

        The Omicron variant, which spread aggressively during the winter, caused a surge in cases.

        She added: "We're not saying that everything's over because we may see new variants, and we may see surges in infection again, but we do seem to be in a much more stable situation."

      • Milica Cosic

        How world missed FIVE major chances to avoid ‘devastating’ outbreak

        MULTIPLE scientists and studies have warned about the monkeypox virus for years as the alarm was first raised in 2018.

        A British scientist at a level four biosecurity lab – Porton Down, which works with smallpox-like viruses – first warned about its epidemic-causing potential four years ago.

        They warned how the emergence of monkeypox could have 'potentially devastating consequences' for the majority of the world's population.

        Here are the five crucial warnings that were missed: 

        1. September 2018: Porton Down scientist warns of potential 'devastating consequences' of monkeypox 
        2. June 2019: A coalition of experts met at Chatham House in London to discuss how monkeypox 'might fill the epidemiological niche vacated by smallpox'. They warned 70% of world is vulnerable to monkeypox
        3. September 2020: Two years ago, a paper published by the WHO warned the 'epidemic potential' of monkeypox was increasing.
        4. November 2021: Monkeypox pandemic model warns virus could kill 300million in about 18 months.
        5. February 2022: Scientists say monkeypox is a disease in 'resurgence' in a research review in the Neglected Tropical Diseases journal. It was published just a few months before the current outbreak
      • Milica Cosic

        So, just how dangerous is monkeypox?

        Monkeypox is very rare so unless you have been to West or Central Africa or been in contact with someone who has it, there is little reason to worry.

        The disease is transmitted through contact with blood, body fluids, spots, blisters or scabs of an infected individual.

        Animals can also be infected as the disease originated from them, meaning if you are bitten by an infected animal you can also catch monkeypox.

        It is possible to become infected by touching the clothes or bed sheets which have been used by someone with Monkeypox.

        This means that the danger of contracting the disease is low, with around 20 cases confirmed in the UK currently.

        If you do catch monkeypox, you are very unlikely to die from it.

        Read the article in full here.

      • Milica Cosic

        Explained: What is the public health advice?

        The NHS suggests that it is rare that anyone in the UK who has not been in contact with an infected person or travelled to Africa recently will have the virus.

        If you are infected you should isolate and inform the NHS.

        Nevertheless, they suggest washing your hands regularly with soap or hand sanitiser and only eating meat which has been fully cooked.

        They also have a list of things to avoid:

        • Avoid wild or stray animals, including dead animals
        • Avoid any animals that appear unwell
        • Do not eat or touch meat from wild animals (bush meat)
        • Do not share bedding or towels with people who are unwell and may have monkeypox
        • Do not have close contact with people who are unwell and may have monkeypox

        Current global outbreak was 'waiting to happen'

        Dr Romulus Breban, a researcher at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, said the current global outbreak was "waiting to happen" because the world had an "almost zero" immunity level.

        Nineteen countries have detected cases in the past month, which has sparked alarm because infections usually only occur in west and central Africa but has now spread to Europe and the Americas.

        There is already community transmission in the UK – but the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) stresses that the risk to the public is "low".

        China labs cash in on monkeypox outbreak

        CHINESE labs are cashing in on the recent monkeypox outbreak by selling test kits and a 'vaccine' as global cases hit 200.

        The country's state-run media claimed that "several" manufacturers have already produced a nucleic acid test kit "which can be quickly into mass production" and on the shelves within weeks.

        Global Times, a mouthpiece for the Chinese government, also claimed scientists could develop a vaccine for monkeypox by the end of the year.

        "Several Chinese test kit makers reached by the Global Times on Monday said they have developed nucleic acid test kits for monkeypox, which can be quickly put into mass production and on the domestic market once approved by the government," the paper said.

        "Meanwhile, experts pointed out that there are no technological problems in developing a vaccine against monkeypox and a rapid special review by China's drug administration could help the country develop the vaccine in roughly a year."

        Pharmaceutical company Sinovac saw sales in the first half of 2021 explode to more than 160 times the previous year thanks to the development of a Covid vaccine.

        The firm raked in £9billion in the first six months of last year, up from just £50million in 2020, showing the huge gains that can be made during a pandemic.

        Some 221 monkeypox cases have been confirmed worldwide since the first patient was registered to have the rare virus in the UK on May 6.

          Source: Read Full Article