Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said another 11 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in the UK.
The new cases come on top of the nine already identified in the country.
Mr Javid said “most cases” are mild. He has now updated G7 health ministers on the spread of the virus, which has been detected in six other countries outside Central and West Africa.
“I can confirm we have procured further doses of vaccines that are effective against monkeypox,”
he said.There isn’t a specific vaccine for the monkeypox virus, but a smallpox jab does offer some good protection since the two viruses are quite similar.
Cases of the disease outside Central and West Africa are rare, but some have been occurring recently in Europe, USA, Canada and Australia.
It is not clear how much vaccine stock has been bought by the UK, or how many jabs might be given.
It has been reported that Spain is preparing to order thousands of doses of smallpox vaccine to use against monkeypox.Even without a vaccine, most cases will be mild and clear up on their own within a few weeks.
Monkeypox is usually associated with travel to Central or West Africa, but some of the cases that have been occurring outside these countries have had no travel link. It can be spread when someone comes into close contact with an infected person.
The virus can enter the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract or through the eyes, nose or mouth.If you get infected with monkeypox, it usually takes between five and 21 days for the first symptoms to appear.
Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body.
The rash changes and goes through different stages – a bit like chicken pox – before finally forming a scab, which later falls off.It does not spread easily between people, but it can be spread through:Read more about the virus here.The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) says the risk to the public remains very low.
Anyone with concerns that they could be infected should see a health professional, but make contact with the clinic or surgery ahead of a visit. NHS 111 can also give advice.
Prof Kevin Fenton, UKHSA, said: “We are asking everybody to be aware of the signs and symptoms, which include rashes around the mouth as well as around the genital area.”
And we are especially asking gay and bisexual men, among whom we’ve been seeing an increasing proportion of cases, to be on the lookout for monkeypox.”The Imvanex smallpox vaccine is about 85% effective in preventing monkeypox, studies suggest.
Vaccination after a monkeypox exposure may help prevent the disease or make it less severe.Vaccines work by teaching the immune system how to defend itself against a disease.
Routine smallpox vaccination ended in the 1970s in Britain, around the time the disease was eradicated, meaning many people have not got any protection or immune memory against these types of viruses.
Leave a Reply