Doctors observe community transmission: infections in individuals who call themselves gay or bisexual
Monkeypox is spreading with local transmission in Britain, with new cases being detected every day, warns an expert. Ukhsa, the UK’s health security agency, has confirmed 20 cases of the disease in Britain, with other countries outside West and Central Africa reporting outbreaks. The disease, first discovered in monkeys, can be transmitted from person to person through close physical contact, including sexual contact, and is caused by an Orthopoxvirus, the same genus as the virus that causes smallpox, declared worldwide eradicated in 1980.
Susan Hopkins, Ukhsa’s chief medical advisor, said updated data for the weekend would be released tomorrow, warning that new cases are being detected “on a daily basis.” You also said that doctors observe community transmission: cases are identified in individuals who call themselves gay or bisexual, or men who have sexual encounters with other men. “I want to thank all the people who show up spontaneously to test themselves in sexually transmitted diseases clinics, by treating doctors and in emergency rooms,” she told the BBC. When asked if we observe the transmission of the virus on site, she replied: “Absolutely yes, we find cases that have no identified contact with individuals from West Africa, which is what we previously saw in the country”.
To those asked what is the reason why the virus is now mostly observed in males who have sexual encounters with other men, Hopkins explained that “it is because of the frequent close contacts they may have. We recommend to all those who they change partners regularly, or have contact with individuals they don’t know, to show up if they develop rashes. ”
Asked if the population should get vaccinated, he said “there is no specific vaccine for monkeypox, but we use a type of smallpox vaccine, a third-generation vaccine that is safe for individuals who have come into contact with positive cases.
“We do not use it on the general population – he continued – but in individuals who we believe are at high risk of developing symptoms and we use it early, within 4-5 days for symptomatic cases. For contacts, vaccination reduces the risk of developing symptoms”. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden said recent cases of monkeypox identified in Europe and the US are something to “be concerned about”.