Eleven more people in England were diagnosed with smallpox monkeybringing the cumulative number of UK cases to 207.
Announcing the new patients today, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) reiterated that most cases were in gay and bisexual men.
Officials said it was “especially important” that these men be aware of new injuries, rashes or scabs and contact a sexual health clinic.
The new cases bring the total number confirmed in England to 199, while there were five in Scotland, two in Northern Ireland and one in Wales.
Scientists are not yet sure what is causing the current outbreak, now seen in two dozen countries, as the virus is usually limited to people returning from Africa.
In a report released last night, the UKHSA revealed that the UK’s set of cases are linked to gay bars, saunas and dating applications.
More than 60 per cent of domestic infections were among gay and bisexual men, with more than 86 per cent based in the London epicenter. Only two cases were women.
Most of the UK’s infections – 87 per cent – were among people aged 20 to 49. And 111 cases are known to be men who have sex with men.
And the majority of patients in the UK have caught the virus in the UK rather than abroad.
Officials said contact tracking teams had linked the blast back to “gay bars, saunas and the use of dating programs in the UK and abroad”.
MailOnline unveiled last week the biggest gay dating app in the world Grindr warned users of symptoms of monkeypox.
In all, there have been 617 confirmed cases of monkeypox worldwide, with 129 more suspected since the first infection was found in early May.
Behind the United Kingdom, Spain (156), Portugal (138) and Canada (54) recorded the highest number of confirmed cases.
Officials urge gay and bisexual men to be aware of new injuries, rashes or scabs and to contact a sex clinic.
The infection often begins with small bumps that cross and are contagious
LONDON IS UK’S SMIMIPOX EPIC CENTER AND ONLY TWO WOMEN HAVE CATCHED VIRUS
London became that of Britain smallpox monkey epicenter.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said more than 60 per cent of domestic infections were between gay and bisexual men, with more than 86 per cent based in central London.
Only two cases were women.
Most of the country’s infections – 87 percent – were among people between the ages of 20 and 49.
And 111 cases are known to have men who have sex with men.
Most of the UK patients caught the virus in the UK rather than abroad, which is significant because previously the tropical disease was limited to a small number of people with travel links to Africa.
In a report released on Wednesday night, the UKHSA released its first analysis, covering the country’s first 153 cases.
As of 31 May, 132 of the 153 cases in England were among London residents (86 per cent).
Only a fifth of cases have traveled from a European country in the last three weeks, suggesting that the vast majority have caught the virus in the UK.
The report states: “Research to date has identified links to gay bars, saunas and the use of dating programs in the UK and abroad.
“Investigations are ongoing but currently no single factor or finding linking the cases has been identified.”
MailOnline revealed that Grindr issued a warning to its users across Europe last Monday, advising them to contact their sexual health care provider if they or any recent sexual partners have unusual ulcers or rashes.
UKHSA is working with the program as well as the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) and the British HIV Association to communicate health risks to gay and bisexual men.
The current boom has been linked to several super-popular events, including a gay pride festival in Gran Canaria on May 5-15, a fetish festival in Belgium on May 5-8 and a “sauna” in Spain.
There is a concern among health professionals that monkeypox could be transmitted to animals by human medical waste.
As the virus circulates outside Africa, there is an opportunity for it to spread back into animal populations, which could potentially make the virus endemic in countries beyond Africa.
Dr. William Karesh, president of the World Organization for Animal Health, said at a conference today: “As we saw with COVID-19, one thing that comes up is … this. ‘
“Like a rural local clinic that puts its rubbish out until it’s properly disposed of later in the week,” he added.
Countries in Africa have experienced sporadic outbreaks of monkeypox since the virus was first discovered in humans in 1970. In Nigeria, there has been an ongoing epidemic since 2017.
The virus was discovered in laboratory monkeys in 1958, and since then various animal species including squirrels and rats have been identified as susceptible to it.
It is understood to have jumped to humans from the animals it circulates, but which species are involved in the spill remains unclear, Dr Karesh said.
In the UK, pets from people infected with monkeypox are isolated as part of efforts to contain the disease.
These include pet hamsters, rats and rabbits.
Teams from the UKHSA also contact risky contacts from confirmed cases and advise them to self-isolate at home for three weeks and avoid contact with children.
Both confirmed cases and close contacts are offered the Imvanex vaccine to form a buffer of immune people around a confirmed case to limit the spread of the disease.
The strategy, known as ring vaccination, has been used in previous smallpox epidemics and is also being implemented in a number of EU countries.
Professor Kevin Fenton, London’s regional director of public health, said: “Monkeypox can affect anyone, but we know that many of the most recent diagnoses are in gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, many of whom live or has links to London.
“We remind everyone of the symptoms of monkeypox, and especially gay and bisexual men, in particular to be aware and seek immediate advice by calling NHS 111 or their local sex clinic if they have any concerns.
– As with any new disease, the risk of stigma and uncertainty is great.
“This is why we are working side-by-side with the NHS, sexual health, voluntary and community sector organizations in London to share accurate information on monkeypox especially to people and groups at increased risk through representative voices.”
1958: Monkeypox was first discovered when an outbreak of smallpox-like disease occurred in monkeys kept for research.
1970: The first human case was reported in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the infection has been reported in several central and western countries since then.
2003: An outbreak of Monkeypox occurred in the United States after rodents were imported from Africa. Cases have been reported in both humans and pet prairie dogs. All human infections followed contact with an infected pet and all patients recovered.
September 8, 2018: Monkeypox first appeared in Britain in a Nigerian naval officer who visited Cornwall for training. They were treated at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2018: Second UK monkey pox case confirmed in Blackpool. There is no connection with the first case in Cornwall. Instead, however, the patient caught the infection while traveling in Nigeria. They were treated at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and Royal Liverpool University Hospital.
SEPTEMBER 26, 2018: A third person is diagnosed with monkeypox. The individual worked at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and treated the second Monkeypox case. They received treatment at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
DECEMBER 3, 2019: A patient was diagnosed with monkeypox in England, marking the fourth case.
May 25, 2021: Two cases of monkeypox have been identified in North Wales. Both patients had travel connections to Nigeria.
A third person living with one of the cases was diagnosed and hospitalized, bringing the total ever to seven.
May 7, 2022: A person has been diagnosed with Monkeypox in England after a recent trip to Nigeria. The person received care at the experienced infectious disease unit at Guy and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London.
May 14, 2022: Two more cases have been confirmed in London. The infected couple lived in the same household but were not in contact with the case announced a week earlier.
One of these individuals received care at the experienced infectious disease unit at St Mary’s Hospital in London. The other was isolated at home and did not need hospital treatment.
May 16, 2022: Four more cases have been announced, bringing the UK total to seven. Three of these cases are in London, while one of their contacts is infected in the North East of England.
The series of cases has been described as “unusual” and “surprising”, as experts warn gay and bisexual men to be wary of new eruptions.
May 19, 2022: Two more cases were revealed, with no travel links or links to other cases. The cases were based in the South East and London. Fears began to grow that infections were unnoticed.
May 20, 2022: Eleven more cases have been announced, which means that the British monkeypox epidemic has doubled to 20. Ministers are discussing the possibility of a public health campaign to warn gay men that the disease may be more prevalent for them.
May 23, 2022: Scotland registers its first case of monkeypox and 36 other infections reported in England. It brings the totality of the United Kingdom to 57.
May 24, 2022: England registers an additional 14 cases, bringing the total for the UK to 71.
May 25, 2022: Another seven infections have been detected in England, which means that 78 cases have been detected in the UK.
May 26, 2022: Wales and Northern Ireland detect their first monkeypox case in the recent outbreak, while Scotland sees two more cases and England records eight, bringing the total for the UK to 90.
May 27, 2022: England detects 16 more cases, meaning 106 people in the UK have confirmed infections.
MAY 29, 2022: The World Health Organization (WHO) says the risk of monkeypox is “moderate”, citing concerns about a virus infecting children and immunocompromised people if it becomes more widespread.
May 30, 2022: The UK is detecting a further 71 monkey variety cases, bringing the UK total to 179. Cases have jumped 70 per cent in just three days.
May 31, 2022: Eleven infections have been spotted across the UK, bringing the infection to 190.
JUNE 1, 2022: A further five cases have been detected in England and one has been detected in Scotland, which means that the United Kingdom has now registered 196.
JUNE 2, 2022: An additional 11 cases are detected in England, bringing the total for the UK to over 200.