The latest UK Health Agency (UKHSA) technical instruction of the current outbreak of monkeypox in the UK shows no signs of abating. Based on global observations, there is no evidence of continued transmission outside these networks.

The outbreak continues to grow, and case reports strongly suggest that the virus is transmitted primarily through intimate or sexual contact. UKHSA Health teams in all regions of England continue to identify and assess the risk of close contacts of confirmed cases.

Most people with monkeypox can be treated safely at home and there have been no deaths in the UK. Most people experience mild illness, but in some it can cause severe illness that requires hospitalization, including severe pain.

A vaccination program begins, and sexual health services offer the vaccine to anyone at increased risk of infection. This includes people who have recently had multiple partners, are involved in group sex, have sex indoors, or have recently had a sexually transmitted bacterial infection.

By 6 July 2022, there were 1,517 laboratory-confirmed cases in the UK. The average age of confirmed cases in the UK was 36. In England, 99% of cases are men, and 74% are Londoners. 16% (226) of cases in England reported recent foreign travel, with 176 of these reporting travel within Europe.

The brief includes a breakdown of events reporting cases involving a total of 572. 17% of those reporting were in sex facilities, and although this does not confirm that transmission occurred there, UKHSA continues to conduct information work with event organizers and provide recommendations on how to minimize risks in various conditions.

Dr. Meera Chand, Director of the Division of Clinical and Emerging Infections, UKHSA said:

It is concerning that we continue to see the outbreak grow, and we are calling on the public to do everything they can to help us slow the spread.

If you have recently had a new or multiple sexual partners, please be aware of the symptoms of monkeypox and remember that many of the cases we see show only one or a few lesions.

If you fear you have monkey pox, take a break from events, meeting friends, or having sex. Instead, stay at home and seek advice on 111 or your local sexual health service. Please contact the clinic before your visit and avoid close contact with others until you have been seen by the clinician.

To help with our contact tracing, we encourage everyone to make sure they share contact details with sexual partners.

If you are called for a vaccination, we strongly recommend that you get it.

UKHSA will continue to publish regular technical briefings as the outbreak is tackled.

The latest UK case numbers are available at GOV.UK.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/monkeypox-continuing-transmission-in-interconnected-sexual-networks

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