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First suspected case of monkeypox reported in Derby

today5 September 2022 1

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The first case of monkeypox has been reported in Derby. It was reported in the statutory notifications of infectious diseases for the week ending August 21 with the anonymous patient getting their preliminary diagnosis in the city.

Monkeypox is passed on through close personal contact, including sexual contact, kissing and cuddling or holding hands, coughing and sneezing and contact with the bedding or clothing of someone infected with the disease.

The NHS has announced that people in Derbyshire deemed to be most at risk of being infected with monkeypox are due to be offered a vaccine as part of a country-wide rollout. Anyone can get monkeypox although, according to the NHS, most cases have been in gay and bisexual men.

READ MORE: Monkeypox: East Midlands has one of lowest rates in UK but cases rising

Dr Robyn Dewis, director of public health at Derby City Council said: “The UKHSA have been responding to the monkeypox outbreak since early May, with over 3000 cases nationally to date. The East Midlands has seen less than 2% of cases over this time, and it does appear that the number of cases nationally have plateaued or are starting to fall.

“This fall may partly be due to people following the national advice, coming forward when they have symptoms and reducing the risk of catching the virus, including taking up vaccination when offered.

“Although we are hopeful that the number of cases will continue to fall it remains important that those at risk continue to follow the national advice. Remember that monkeypox is mainly spread through close physical contact.”

Monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus, which is found mostly in the west and central Africa, and only a handful of cases had been reported in the UK between 2018 and 2021. It does not spread easily but can occur when someone comes into close contact with infected animals, humans or material.

Fever-like symptoms show within five to 21 days and include headaches, muscle aches, chills, exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes. A rash develops within one to five days of symptoms starting, which usually spreads from the face to other parts of the body.

There has been a total of 2,050 confirmed monkeypox cases across England so far with the majority based in London. Despite the East Midlands so far experiencing relatively fewer cases than elsewhere in the UK, cases are continuing to rise.

Nadine Hilliard, Regional Communications Manager at the UK Health Security Agency explained: “The weekly NOIDs reports capture suspected and laboratory-confirmed cases, meaning it may not be confirmed.”

Dr Sophia Makki, National Incident Director at UKHSA, said: “Monkeypox cases continue to rise, with the virus being passed on predominantly in interconnected sexual networks.

“Before you have sex, go to a party or event, check yourself for monkeypox symptoms, including rashes and blisters. If you have monkeypox symptoms, take a break from attending events or sex until you’ve called 111 or a sexual health service and been assessed by a clinician.

“Vaccination will further strengthen our monkeypox response and so we urge all those who are eligible for the vaccine to take it up when offered. It will help protect yourself and others you have had close contact with. While the infection is mild for many, it can cause severe symptoms and hospitalisation in some. Please remember that the vaccine may not provide complete protection against monkeypox, so it is still important to be alert for the symptoms of monkeypox and call 111 or a sexual health clinic if you develop any.

“The NHS will provide the vaccine to those eligible, so please wait until you are contacted.”

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