Latest news on monkeypox cases: UK urgently seeks volunteer virologists as infections rise

<p>Monkeypox continues to spread around the world</p>
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Monkeypox continues to spread around the world

(Brian WJ Mahyvia/CDC/Reuters)

Public health chiefs are urging consulting virologists to volunteer to help Britain’s response to the monkeypox outbreak, which has now infected at least 20 people in Britain – more than double the number on Thursday.

Volunteers would join a rota that acted as a contact point for clinical advice about the disease and called clinicians about positive results.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) says it holds meetings on monkeypox every day, attended by experts from affected countries.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) had confirmed 11 more cases, in addition to the nine previously identified.

The first case involved someone returning from Nigeria.

The WHO will today convene a group of leading experts to meet to discuss the ongoing outbreak The Telegraph .

The newspaper said it believed the main topics of discussion would be the spread of the virus, the unusually high prevalence among gay and bisexual men and the vaccination situation.


Spain and Portugal record 23 new cases with more suspected cases

Health authorities in Portugal and Spain reported nine and 14 new confirmed cases, respectively, on Friday, bringing the total in each country to over 20, the outbreak’s highest number to date.

A total of 23 confirmed cases have now been identified in Portugal, while 21 cases have been reported in Spain.

Another 21 suspected cases are being investigated in Spain, 19 in the Madrid region, one in the Canary Islands and one in Andalusia, the health agency said.

Jane DaltonMay 20, 2022 2:02 p.m


Appeal to virologists for help

Public health officials have issued an “urgent” appeal to consultant virologists for volunteers to help with the “rapid escalation” of the monkeypox response. The Independent has learned. Rebecca Thomas reports:

Jane DaltonMay 20, 2022 1:43 p.m


Portugal cases rise to 23

Portugal has reported nine new confirmed cases of monkeypox, bringing the total to 23.

Chiara GiordanoMay 20, 2022 1:10 p.m


Opinion: Our toxic relationship with animals is leading us to disaster

Julia Bainesa science policy manager at animal rights organization PETA, said we risk triggering another global pandemic “if we continue to use and abuse animals.”

In this piece for indy voicesShe writes: “When do we learn it? Now that monkeypox has been discovered in Canada, Portugal, Spain, the UK and the US, we should accept that our toxic relationships with animals are sleepwalking us into disaster.”

Chiara GiordanoMay 20, 2022 1:00 p.m


11 new cases confirmed in UK as outbreak spreads

Eleven more cases of monkeypox have been found in the UK, health chiefs say, bringing the total to 20.

The World Health Organization has reportedly called an emergency meeting after the number more than doubled.

Jane Dalton has the whole story:

Chiara GiordanoMay 20, 2022 12:48 p.m


Africa contained monkeypox outbreaks during Covid pandemic when world’s attention was elsewhere, health chief says

Several monkeypox outbreaks in Africa have been contained during the Covid-19 pandemic while the world’s attention has been elsewhere – but outbreaks in Europe and the United States are a cause for concern, Africa’s top public health authority has said.

The disease, which spreads through close contact and was first found in monkeys, is found mainly in west and central Africa and rarely spreads elsewhere.

The acting director of the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Cameroon and the Central African Republic had been monitored and contained since 2020.

“During this pandemic, we have had multiple outbreaks of monkeypox across the continent… We also expect more outbreaks to come and we will deal with them in the usual way,” Ahmed Ogwell Ouma said in a weekly news briefing.

“However, we are concerned about the numerous countries outside, particularly in Europe, that are seeing these outbreaks of monkeypox. It would be very useful if knowledge could be shared about where these eruptions actually come from,” he said.

“We are in close contact with our colleagues at the European CDC to try and understand where this came from, because if you see monkeypox in settings that are far from a forested area then it certainly increases what the public Health involves a lot of issues.”

Chiara GiordanoMay 20, 2022 12:45 p.m


Monkeypox spreads across Europe as Sweden, Italy, France and Belgium confirm early cases

Monkeypox infections have spread to at least seven European countries, with Sweden, France, Belgium and Italy being the latest to announce their first cases of the virus infection.

The new cases mean increasing global transmission of the disease, with infections emerging in the US and even Australia.

my colleague Schweta Sharma has more details:

Chiara GiordanoMay 20, 2022 12:35 p.m


Portugal’s health authority admits it is concerned – but urges people to remain calm

The health authority in Portugal, the country with the highest number of monkeypox cases, admitted it was concerned about the spread of the disease but urged people to remain calm as the risk of transmission is low.

At last count, Portugal had reported 14 cases of monkeypox while there were around 20 suspected cases of infection.

Outbreaks in Britain, Portugal, Spain, the United States and other countries have raised alarm because the disease, which spreads through close contact and was first found in monkeys, occurs mainly in west and central Africa and very rarely elsewhere.

Margarida Tavares, spokeswoman for the Portuguese Monkeypox Working Group, said: “The health authority … is concerned … It is important to act correctly and make the right decisions in order to break chains of transmission.

“(But) the risk to the population is low. It’s not a disease that’s easily transmitted.”

Tavares said all cases in Portugal were detected in sexual health clinics and those infected were men between the ages of 20 and 40 who self-identified as gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men.

They all have mild symptoms and their health is improving. Nobody was hospitalized.

Chiara GiordanoMay 20, 2022 12:25 p.m


UK cases double to 20

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) had confirmed 11 more cases of monkeypox in the UK, most of which were described as mild.

The new cases join the nine previously identified, with the first case returning from a trip to Nigeria.

It brings the UK to 20th overall.

Mr Javid said: “UKHSA has confirmed 11 new cases of monkeypox in the UK. This morning I updated the G7 Health Ministers on what we know so far.

“Most cases are mild and I can confirm that we have procured additional doses of vaccines that are effective against monkeypox.”

Chiara GiordanoMay 20, 2022 12:22


Italy confirms two more cases, bringing the total to three

Italy has confirmed two more cases of monkeypox infection at Rome’s Spallanzani Hospital, bringing the total number of cases to three so far in the country.

The health commissioner for the Lazio region said in a statement today that two other suspected infections linked to the first detected case had been confirmed.

Spallanzani Hospital said Thursday that the first patient with monkeypox, a mild viral infection whose symptoms include fever, headache and the characteristic bumpy rash, has returned to Italy from a stay in the Canary Islands.

Chiara GiordanoMay 20, 2022 12:10 Latest news on monkeypox cases: UK urgently seeks volunteer virologists as infections rise

Bobby Allyn

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