Belgium has become the first country to introduce a mandatory 21-day quarantine against monkeypox – with 14 countries now confirming an outbreak of the viral disease and doctors warning of a ‘significant rise’ in UK cases
Belgian health authorities said that those who contracted the virus will now have to self-isolate for three weeks, after three cases were recorded in the country.
All infections, the first of which was recorded on Friday, are linked to a festival in the coastal city of Antwerp.
It comes as doctors have warned that the UK is facing a “significant” increase in infections and that the government’s response is “crucial” in containing its spread.
Dr Claire Deusnap, chair of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, said the outbreak could have a “tremendous impact” on access to sexual health services in Britain.
Yesterday, Sajid Javid revealed that 11 more Britons had contracted the virus, bringing the total number to 20.
The cases include a British child who is currently in a critical condition in a London hospital, while another 100 infections have been recorded in Europe.
Dr Deusnap told Sky News: “Our response is really critical here.
Dr Claire Deusnap, chair of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, warns of a “significant” increase in infections across the UK in the coming weeks
There will be more diagnoses over the next week.
‘How hard it is to determine. My biggest concern is that there is an infection all over Europe so this has really spread.
It is already spreading in the general population.
“Getting on top of all these people’s connections is a huge business.
“It could be really big numbers for the next two or three weeks.”
It says it expects more cases to be discovered across the UK, with a “significant rise over the next week”.
One of the first known cases of monkeypox virus from a patient appeared on June 5, 2003, via a photo released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A 2003 electron microscope image released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing mature, oval-shaped monkeypox viruses.
What is Monkey Box?
Monkeypox — often caught by handling monkeys — is a rare viral disease that kills about 10 percent of the people it infects, according to figures.
The virus responsible for the disease is found mainly in the tropics of West and Central Africa.
Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958, with the first human case reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970. Human cases of infection were first reported in the United States in 2003 and the United Kingdom in September 2018.
It is found in wild animals but humans can contract it through direct contact with animals, such as handling monkeys, or eating inadequately cooked meat.
The virus can enter the body through broken skin, respiratory tract, eyes, nose, or mouth.
It can be transmitted between humans through droplets in the air, touching the skin of an infected person, or touching objects contaminated with it.
Symptoms usually appear within five and 21 days of infection. These include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and fatigue.
The most obvious symptom is a rash that usually appears on the face before spreading to other parts of the body. This then leads to the formation of skin lesions that peel and fall off.
Monkeypox is usually mild, with most patients recovering within a few weeks without treatment. However, the disease can often be fatal.
There are no specific treatments or vaccines available for monkeypox infection, according to the World Health Organization.
The rare viral infection, which people usually pick up in the tropics of West and Central Africa, can be transmitted through close contact with an infected person.
It is usually mild, with most patients recovering within a few weeks without treatment.
However, the disease can be fatal as the strain causing the current outbreak kills one in every 100 infected.
The disease, first discovered in monkeys, can be transmitted from person to person through close physical contact — as well as sexual contact — and is caused by the monkeypox virus.
Dr. Deusnap also said she is concerned about the impact of monkeypox on treating other infections as staff are shifted to deal with the outbreak.
She added: ‘Some clinics with cases had to advise people not to enter.
They did this primarily because if someone has symptoms consistent with monkeypox, we don’t want people sitting in waiting rooms potentially infecting other people.
They’ve implemented phone screening in all of those places.
Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical advisor for the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said more cases of monkeypox were being discovered every day.
Speaking to the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme, Dr Hopkins said UKHSA would release the updated numbers on Monday.
She said: “We will release updated numbers tomorrow — numbers over the weekend.
“We are discovering more cases on a daily basis and I would like to thank all those people who come forward for testing in sexual health clinics, GPs and the emergency department.”
Asking to confirm reports that someone is being treated for monkeypox in intensive care, she said, “We do not confirm individual reports and individual patients.”
In Britain, authorities are providing the smallpox vaccine to health care workers and others who may have been exposed to it.
Portugal has 14 confirmed cases and 20 suspected infections. Across the Atlantic, there are two confirmed cases in Canada, with 20 suspected.
There are also cases in Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Israel, Switzerland and Australia.
The World Health Organization has said it expects to identify more cases of monkeypox as it expands surveillance in countries where the disease is not usually found.
As of Saturday, 92 confirmed cases and 28 suspected monkeypox cases have been reported from 12 non-endemic member states, the UN agency said, adding that it will provide more guidance and recommendations in the coming days to countries on how to mitigate. Spread of monkeypox.
No one has yet died from the viral disease.
Professor David Heymann, an expert in infectious disease epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: ‘What appears to be happening now is that it has reached the population as a sexual form, as a form of the genitals, and is being spread like sexually transmitted diseases, resulting in Amplify its transmission around the world.
Close contact is the main route of transmission, he said, because the typical lesions of the disease are highly contagious.
For example, parents who take care of sick children are at risk, as are health workers, which is why some countries have begun vaccinating treatment teams for monkeypox patients with smallpox vaccines, a related virus.
Several current cases have been identified in sexual health clinics.
Early genetic sequencing of a few cases in Europe suggests similarities to the strain that spread in a limited manner in Britain, Israel and Singapore in 2018.
Heyman said it was “biologically plausible” that the virus was spreading outside of countries where the virus is endemic, but that it has not led to a major outbreak as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns, social distancing and travel restrictions.
This comes as some of the country’s top disease experts have warned that monkeypox will fill the void left by smallpox three years ago.
Scientists from leading institutions including the University of Cambridge and the London School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine have argued that viral disease would evolve to fill the ‘niche’ left by the disease after the eradication of smallpox.
According to the Sunday Telegraph, experts attended a symposium in London in 2019 and discussed how there was a need to develop a ‘new generation of vaccines and treatments’.
The symposium heard that with the eradication of smallpox in 1980, smallpox vaccination was discontinued, and as a result, up to 70 percent of the world’s population was no longer protected against smallpox.
This also means that they are no longer protected against other viruses in the same family as monkeypox.