The UK confirmed on Friday that the number of cases had more than doubled, bringing the total to 20.
Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, said 11 new cases had been confirmed, with the majority of them being minor.
How widespread is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same virus family as smallpox, but it is much less severe and experts say the chances of infection are low.
It is mostly found in remote areas of central and west African countries near tropical rainforests.
The virus is divided into two strains: west African and central African.
Two of the infected patients in the UK traveled from Nigeria, so they are most likely infected with the West African strain, which is generally mild.
Another instance involved a healthcare worker who contracted the virus from one of the patients.
Recent cases have no known links to one another or a history of travel. It appears that they caught it in the UK as a result of community spread.
According to the UK Health Security Agency, anyone who suspects they may be infected should see a doctor, but first make contact with the clinic or surgery.
What are the signs and symptoms of Monkeypox?
Fever, headaches, swellings, back pain, and aching muscles are among the first symptoms.
Once the fever has subsided, a rash may appear, usually starting on the face and spreading to other parts of the body, most commonly the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
The rash, which can be extremely itchy or painful, changes and progresses through various stages before forming a scab, which eventually falls off. Scarring may result from the lesions.
The infection usually goes away on its own after 14 to 21 days.
Monkeypox can be transmitted through close contact with an infected person. The virus can enter the body through open wounds, the respiratory tract, or the eyes, nose, or mouth.
It has never been described as a sexually transmitted infection, but it can be spread through direct contact during sex.
It can also be spread through contact with infected animals like monkeys, rats, and squirrels, as well as through virus-contaminated objects like bedding and clothing.
Most cases of the virus are mild, resembling chickenpox at times, and resolve on their own within a few weeks.
Monkeypox, on the other hand, can be more severe at times and has been linked to deaths in West Africa.
Are gay men more vulnerable to Monkeypox?
Although some cases have been reported in gay and bisexual men, anyone who comes into close contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk of contracting the virus.
According to the UK Health Security Agency, “a significant proportion” of recent cases in the UK and Europe have been discovered in gay and bisexual men, “so we are especially encouraging them to be alert to the symptoms and seek help if concerned.”
What is the frequency of outbreaks of Monkeypox?
The virus was discovered in a captive monkey, and sporadic outbreaks have been reported in ten African countries since 1970.
The first outbreak outside of Africa occurred in the United States in 2003. Patients contracted the disease after coming into contact with prairie dogs infected by small mammals imported into the country. There were 81 reported cases, but none resulted in deaths.
Nigeria experienced the largest known outbreak in 2017. There were 172 suspected cases, with 75 percent of victims being men aged 21 to 40.
What is the treatment of Monkey pox?
Infection prevention can help to control outbreaks.
Smallpox vaccination has been shown to be 85 percent effective in preventing monkeypox.
The UK has purchased smallpox vaccine, but it is unclear how many vaccinations will be administered.
Antiviral medications may also be beneficial.
Should the general public be concerned about Monkeypox?
Experts believe we are not on the verge of a national outbreak, and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) believes the risk is low.
“The fact that only one of the 50 contacts of the initial monkeypox-infected patient has been infected shows how poorly infectious the virus is,” said Prof Jonathan Ball, professor of molecular virology at the University of Nottingham.
“It is incorrect to believe that we are on the verge of a nationwide outbreak.”
The UKHSA is following up with those who have had close contact with patients in order to provide advice and monitor them.
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