UK health professionals are warning that there will be a “significant rise” in monkeypox cases over the coming weeks, as the outbreak continues to baffle them.
President of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) Dr Claire Dewsnap, told Sky News that there are “going to be more diagnoses over the next week.”
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“I’m definitely expecting a significant rise over this next week,” she said.
Dr Dewsnap also said that some clinic staff have received the smallpox vaccine, which can be effective against monkeypox, and that talks are taking place about giving doses to “potential risk groups”.
Birmingham Mail reports: Dr Dewsnap said she was concerned about the impact on other infections as staff are diverted to deal with monkeypox, when the “public health budget has decreased significantly over the last 10 years. Some clinics that have had cases have had to advise people not to walk in,” she added.
“They’ve primarily done that because if somebody has symptoms consistent with monkeypox, we don’t want people sat in waiting rooms potentially infecting other people. They’ve implemented telephone triage to all of those places.”
Sajid Javid revealed the NHS has bought vaccines which are effective against the illness as fears grow there could be a serious rise in cases. On Friday Health Secretary Javid tweeted: “UKHSA have confirmed 11 new cases of Monkeypox in the UK.
“This morning I updated G7 Health Ministers on what we know so far. Most cases are mild, and I can confirm we have procured further doses of vaccines that are effective against Monkeypox.”
Scientists say they are baffled by the disease’s recent spread in Europe and North America. Previously, cases of the smallpox-related disease have been seen only among people with links to central and West Africa.
But in the past week, Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, US, Sweden and Canada all reported infections, mostly in young men who hadn’t travelled to Africa.
On a more positive note however, Breitbart notes that Professor David Heymann of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said that there are “two types” of monkeypox. The one currently spreading in the West is not the “very lethal” strain which tends to plagues central Africa
“(The central African strain) has 10 per cent fatality and it causes a disease that looks like smallpox,” Heymann explained.
“Fortunately, that disease has not spread outside of Africa yet, and hopefully it won’t, because people are very sick and they don’t travel,” he suggested.
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