Monkeypox Outbreak Declining In The U.K.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 23: A general view of a vial containing the monkeypox vaccine on July 23, … [+] 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

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New monkeypox cases have started to decline in the U.K.: a country that’s seen more than 3,000 since May. That’s more than 10% of the world’s lab-confirmed infections.

Cases are currently appearing at a rate of around 20 per day, official statistics show, with London experiencing the biggest fall in new cases.

Once the site of almost all new cases in the U.K., the outbreak in the capital city is now a similar size to that in the rest of the country, the BBC reports.

But that doesn’t mean the outbreak is over, with officials uging members of the public to continue to check themselves for symptoms, particularly if they have recently had sex with new partners.

Officials recently revealed the country was facing shortages of the vaccine used to protect against monkeypox.

Doses are expected to run out before new supplies in September, according to the BBC.

So far, the country’s given out more than 33,000 shots of the vaccine, the majority of which to people in communities more likely to be exposed to the virus. Most cases have so far presented in gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. But anyone can catch the illness.

Around 1,800 doses have been given to healthcare workers treating those with monkeypox. More than 1,600 have been given to people considered likely to have been exposed to the virus through close contact with an existing case.

Director of Clinical and Emerging Infections at the UK Health Security Agency, Dr Meera Chand, said the the government was working with the vaccine’s manufacturer to expedite delivery, adding that eligible patients will be invited to receive a dose once new supplies have arrived.

She added: “If you are concerned that you may have monkeypox symptoms, take a break from events, meeting with friends or having sexual contact. Instead, stay at home and contact 111 or your local sexual health service for advice.”

Monkeypox is a rare virus traditionally passed from animals to humans. Endemic in parts of Central and Western Africa, cases have been spread to other parts of the world before.

But the ongoing global outbreak is the first time cases have appeared in people in many other parts of the world without travel links to endemic regions. Cases have mostly been reported in Europe and the Americas.

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