There are two variants of monkeypox. One that originates in Central Africa and another originally from Western Africa. The variant the UK is currently learning how to contain is the less dangerous of the two, the West African variant. In recent days cases have started to rise. Last night they doubled with 36 new cases reported.
The total number of new cases in the UK is now 57 after Scotland reported its first case.
Despite the obvious concern around monkeypox given the nation’s history with COVID-19, health chiefs have been keen to reinforce that monkeypox does not spread as easily as Covid.
Monkeypox spreads through the transmission of large air droplets which means two people have to be very close together for it to spread.
Monkeypox can also be spread from one person to another if the two individuals share a bed.
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The disease has not just been limited to the UK, other countries in Europe have seen their own case numbers rise.
Meanwhile, the health experts are warning the disease could soon become endemic in Europe just as it has become endemic in Africa.
The WHO’s Maria Van Kerkhove said in response to the rising case numbers: “This is a containable situation, particularly in the countries where we are seeing these outbreaks that are happening across Europe, in North America as well.
“We can stop human-to-human transmission.”
Around the world, countries are buying up doses of the smallpox vaccine as this has a high efficacy rating against monkeypox.
Furthermore, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is recommending all those who have been in contact with someone with monkeypox should self-isolate for three weeks.
Recent couples are also being advised to check each other for lesions or rashes before and after engaging in intimate relations.
Despite the measures being taken, the risk of becoming infected with monkeypox remains very low.