Monkeypox virus LIVE: First symptoms revealed and what to do if you get it as UK cases hit 106

MONKEYPOX cases have now hit 106 with Brits becoming increasingly worried about the virus.

Despite some fears, health chiefs are urging those who are worried they are suffering from the virus to contact sexual health clinics rather than bombarding 111. 

Head of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) Mateo Prochazka wants staff to be able to focus on handling other health queries. 

Mr Prochazka told The Daily Telegraph: “Sexual health clinics are not just for gay and bisexual men.

"Anyone can be seen in a sexual health clinic, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or identity. Everyone is welcome.

“There are other potential routes of trying to get yourself into the system, maybe calling NHS 111, but this resource has been really overloaded with everyone calling who had a rash.”

The NHS have also stated that what you should do if you pick up the virus.

They state: "As the infection can spread through close contact, it's important to isolate if you're diagnosed with it.

"You may be asked to isolate at home if your symptoms are mild.

"If your symptoms are severe or you're at higher risk of getting seriously ill (for example, if you have a weakened immune system), you may need to stay in a specialist hospital until you recover.

"You may be offered a vaccination to reduce the risk of getting seriously ill."

At least three people in the South West have been vaccinated against monkeypox following close contact with an infected person.

Two people from Exeter and one person in Bristol received a smallpox vaccine after potential exposure to the virus.

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

  • Louis Allwood

    Explained: How to treat monkeypox

    Monkeypox symptoms last between two and four weeks. There is no treatment for it – it gets better on its own.

    There are no specific vaccines available for monkeypox, either.

    But outbreaks can be controlled using contact tracing.

    A vaccine developed for smallpox – which was declared eradicated in 1980 – is also licensed for monkeypox.

    This jab has been proven to be 85 per cent effective in preventing monkeypox. However, most people in the UK will not be vaccinated against smallpox given that it is no longer in circulation.

    The Government has stocks of the smallpox vaccine which is being offered to very close contacts of those affected. These people also have to isolate for 21 days.

  • Louis Allwood

    The full list of monkeypox symptoms you must not ignore

    MONKEYPOX is spreading in the UK and Brits are being told to stay alert to the symptoms.

    The virus is not new, having been endemic in parts of Africa for decades. 

    These reports, together with the list of symptoms compiled by the UKHSA, helps build a picture of how monkeypox presents.

    The signs may include:

    1. Fever
    2. Headache
    3. Muscle aches
    4. Backache
    5. Chills
    6. Exhaustion
    7. Night sweats
    8. Cold-like symptoms, such as congestion and runny nose
    9. Swollen lymph nodes
    10. Swollen groin
    11. Rash

    Complications of the illness were documented as:

    1. Low mood
    2. Severe pain
    3. Conjunctivitis
  • Louis Allwood

    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”.

  • Louis Allwood

    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.”

  • Louis Allwood

    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.

  • Louis Allwood

    'My biggest fear was that I was going to lose my thumb'

    A veterinarian who caught monkeypox in 2003 has come forward to describe his illness.

    Dr Kurt Zaeske told NBC he suffered “flu-like symptoms” including a fever, dizziness, nausea, fatigue and a headache.

    Then he started developing small lesions on his body, including "one significant blister that developed on my thumb, and that became quite painful."

    He said: "My biggest fear was that I was going to lose my thumb and not be able to practice anymore.”

    Dr Zaeske caught monkeypox from a dog who had likely been infected by a rodent.

    He was part of the biggest and first monkeypox outbreak outside of Africa, when more than 70 cases were identified in the US, all linked to infected dogs.

  • Louis Allwood

    Five warnings that were missed

    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
  • Louis Allwood

    WHO warn this could be 'the peak of the iceberg'

    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.”

  • Louis Allwood

    Warnings had come before

    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.

  • Joseph Gamp

    ‘I survived the last US monkeypox outbreak – here are the warning symptoms’

    A MONKEYPOX survivor is sharing his experience with the virus as an increasing number of states report suspected cases.

    Cases have now been confirmed in the US, United Kingdom, Portugal, and Italy, while potential cases are being investigated in Canada and Spain.

    Nearly 20 years ago, Wisconsin had its own outbreak and the new cases hold painful memories for survivor Dr Kurt Zaeske.

    Back in 2003, he was a veterinarian who came in contact with the virus from a prairie dog he was treating.

    “Within about 48 hours of my handling that specimen, I became ill,” he told local news outlet WISN.

    “I started developing a blister on my thumb that didn’t look right, didn’t act right,” he said back in 2003, after being quarantined for two weeks.

    Read the article in full here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Is monkeypox deadly?

    Monkeypox comes from the same family of viruses as smallpox but is much less severe.

    No deaths have been reported from the 2022 outbreak of the disease in the UK.

    The chance of catching monkeypox in the UK is very low as cases are rare.

    Cases have been linked to some festivals in Europe.

    According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) up to a tenth of people who contract the virus may die but this is mainly in younger age groups.

    The majority of those who catch monkeypox will survive.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Officials confident outbreak will not reach the levels of covid

    Officials are confident that the outbreak will not reach the levels of covid, believing that the risk to the public is low. 

    But they have urged Brits, especially gay and bisexual men, to be on the look out for any new rashes or lesions.  

    Teams from the UKHSA have been contacting high-risk contacts of confirmed cases and are advising them to self-isolate at home for three weeks and avoid contact with children.

    Both confirmed cases and close contacts are being offered the Imvanex vaccine to form a buffer of immune people around a confirmed case to limit the spread of the disease.

  • Joseph Gamp

    How long is the incubation period?

    The virus has an incubation period of up to 21 days, which means it can take three weeks for symptoms to appear.

    They include suffering from a fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

    A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, which then spreads to other parts of the body — including the genitals. 

    Health officials are planning on isolating infected people’s pets in an attempt to stop the outbreak. 

  • Joseph Gamp

    Where has Monkeypox come from?

    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.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Explained: How to treat monkeypox

    Monkeypox symptoms last between two and four weeks. There is no treatment for it – it gets better on its own.

    There are no specific vaccines available for monkeypox, either.

    But outbreaks can be controlled using contact tracing.

    A vaccine developed for smallpox – which was declared eradicated in 1980 – is also licensed for monkeypox.

    This jab has been proven to be 85 per cent effective in preventing monkeypox. However, most people in the UK will not be vaccinated against smallpox given that it is no longer in circulation.

    The Government has stocks of the smallpox vaccine which is being offered to very close contacts of those affected. These people also have to isolate for 21 days.

  • Joseph Gamp

    If you catch it, ‘isolation is the most effective measure’

    Dr Carlos Maluquer de Motes, Reader in Molecular Virology, University of Surrey, said: “Isolation is one of the most effective measures to contain the spread of a disease, particularly a viral disease, because it limits the number of susceptible individuals that can be exposed to the virus.

    “Isolation of confirmed cases and the identification and vaccination of all their close contacts creates a circle of protected people around a positive case that is very effective in breaking chains of transmission.

    “This ‘ring vaccination’ strategy was successfully used to eradicate smallpox, so it is a proven strategy to contain poxvirus disease.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Brits are ‘overloading’ NHS 111 with panic calls

    Brits are swamping the NHS over fears that their rash might be linked to the monkeypox outbreak. 

    Health chiefs are urging those who are worried they are suffering from the virus to contact sexual health clinics rather than bombarding 111. 

    Head of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) Mateo Prochazka wants staff to be able to focus on handling other health queries. 

    Mr Prochazka told The Daily Telegraph: “Sexual health clinics are not just for gay and bisexual men.

    “Anyone can be seen in a sexual health clinic, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or identity. Everyone is welcome.

    “There are other potential routes of trying to get yourself into the system, maybe calling NHS 111, but this resource has been really overloaded with everyone calling who had a rash.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    The signs of monkeypox you need to know

    Initial symptoms of monkeypox 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 including the genitals.

    The rash changes and goes through different stages.

    At first it can look like chickenpox, before bumps become raised and filled with pus.

    These lesions finally form a scab, which later falls off.

    Loved pets may have to be PUT DOWN to control spread on monkeypox

    Pet gerbils and hamsters can catch monkeypox and may have to be put down to control its spread, health chiefs have warned.

    They said the rodents must be quarantined in a lab for three weeks if a person in their home catches the virus.

    But the creatures may have to be killed as a last resort.

    If pets pass it to other animals, it could spread out of control.

    Cats, dogs and rabbits are lower risk but should be isolated at home and have regular vet checks, the UK Health Security Agency said.

    Yesterday 16 more human UK cases were reported, taking the total to 106 — with 101 of them in England.

    Monkeypox outbreak could be just ‘the peak of the iceberg’

    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.”

    Monkeypox is related to smallpox, a deadly disease that was eradicated in 1980.

    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

      NHS only has space to treat 50 monkeypox patients (1/2)

      THE NHS only has enough space to treat 50 monkeypox patients, as cases continue to rise in the UK.

      Guidance from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) states that all confirmed cases need to be transferred to high consequence infectious disease (HCID) units if they need hospital care.

      But just 15 beds are believed to have existed before Covid- with the spread of the virus ramping up capacity.

      Now sources say there are only 50 beds and many people will have to quarantine at home, the MailOnline reported.

      Experts said there is ‘always a risk beds will run out’, especially if the situation ‘deteriorates further’.

      It’s unclear whether the HCID units were kept following the pandemic, with many centres having being closed.

      Around 57 Brits have the illness, with more cases having been announced yesterday.

      Number 10 is ‘keeping an eye’ on the situation – but travel restrictions have been ruled out.

    • 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

      Statement from Ireland's health executive after nation reports first case

      The first confirmed case of monkeypox has been identified in Ireland, the Health Service Executive (HSE) has said.

      The infection was reported in the east of the country on Friday night and the person affected was not kept in hospital.

      A further suspected case is also being investigated and test results are being awaited, health officials said.

      A public health risk assessment has been undertaken and those who have been in contact with the person are being advised on what to do in the event that they become ill.

      A statement from HSE said: "The Health Protection Surveillance Centre was notified last night of a confirmed case of monkeypox in Ireland, in the east of the country."

      "This was not unexpected following the presence of monkeypox cases in the UK and many European countries," it added.

      "Public Health is following up those who had close contact with the person with monkeypox while they were infectious.

      "In order to maintain patient confidentiality, no further information about this person will be provided."

    • Joseph Gamp

      When was monkeypox first detected?

      Monkeypox was first detected in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1970 and is considered endemic in around a dozen African countries.

      Its appearance in non-endemic countries has worried experts, although those cases reported so far have been mostly mild and there have been no deaths.

      There have been at least a half-dozen confirmed or suspected cases in the US.

      Source: Read Full Article