Suffolk: First cases of monkeypox reported

17:08 June 30, 2022

The first cases of monkey pox have been reported in Suffolk, the county’s public health team has confirmed.

According to a recently published agenda report for a Suffolk County Council meeting next month, there were “low numbers” of monkey pox in Suffolk as of June 2.

The number of cases identified in the province since this date has not been confirmed.

As of June 26, there were 1,067 lab-confirmed cases in the UK and 29 in the east of England, the latest government data shows.

Cases have been reported in more than a dozen countries, including the UK, Portugal, Spain and the United States.

Stuart Keeble, public health director at Suffolk County Council, said: “Monkeypox is usually a mild disease, spread through very close contact and most people recover within a few weeks.

“The infection can be transmitted through close physical contact, such as kissing, skin-to-skin, sex, or sharing things like clothes, bedding and towels.

“However, the virus usually does not spread easily between people and the risk to the UK population remains low.”

Most monkeypox patients only experience fever, body aches, chills, and fatigue, but some may develop a rash and lesions on the face and hands that can spread to other parts of the body.

The rash may resemble chickenpox or syphilis, and scabs may form and fall off.

Most people recover within a few weeks.

The monkeypox incubation period is usually six to 13 days, but can range from five to 21 days.

Mr Keeble added: “As the virus spreads through close contact, we urge everyone to be aware of any unusual skin rashes or lesions and to contact NHS 111 or a sexual health service if they have any concerns. worry.

Please contact clinics before your visit and avoid close contact with others until you have been seen by a doctor.”

There is also a lower risk of it being spread through coughing and sneezing, but since prolonged face-to-face contact would be necessary, this is not one of the main routes of transmission for monkeypox virus.

Sexual intercourse is thought to put people at a higher risk of contracting the disease because, while it is not known to be sexually transmitted, the close physical contact that accompanies it increases the likelihood of exposure.

A majority of the cases seen to date have involved gay and bisexual men and men who have sex with men.

The latest advice from the UK Heath Security Agency urges people with monkey pox to avoid close contact with others until their lesions have healed and any scabs have dried.

People who have had contact with someone with the disease should also be assessed for risk and may be told to isolate for 21 days if necessary.

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