Monkeypox: Big increase in infections in Great Britain – Wikipedia

Color electron micrograph of monkeypox virus. Photo: Andrea Männel / Andrea Schnartendorff / RKI / dpa


In the UK, the number of monkeypox cases has increased dramatically in recent days. Men are particularly affected by the virus.

The United Kingdom remains a hotspot for the spread of monkeypox. About five weeks after the first cases appeared in the UK, the UKHSA (UK Health Security Agency) reported a significant increase in the number of cases.

In the past three days, 104 new cases of infectious disease have been added – an increase of 28 percent since Friday (10 June). A total of 470 cases of the viral disease have been recorded in Great Britain so far.

First case of monkeypox appeared in the UK on May 7

The vast majority of cases are found in gay or bisexual men who have frequent intercourse. The first case of monkeypox in the UK was reported on 7 May.

The first infection is said to be caused by an infection in Nigeria. Cases of monkeypox in humans have increased in Nigeria since 2017 – and cases associated with travel there, mostly to the UK.

So far, at least 28 countries have been affected

As of June 8, 1,285 laboratory-confirmed cases and one probable case have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from at least 28 countries in four WHO regions.



The majority of cases come from Europe – particularly Great Britain, Spain and Portugal as well as the USA. Meanwhile, the first infections in Latin America also became known.

Read from our presentation: Tübingen expert on monkeypox – ‘We are not well prepared for new diseases’

According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), there are 189 cases of monkeypox in Germany from eleven federal states (Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Hamburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig). -Holstein) – 120 cases in Berlin alone.

The patients are only men. The RKI and the World Health Organization both assume that the number of cases will continue to rise worldwide and in Germany.

Smallpox virus infection

Monkeypox is a viral disease. Viruses belong to a subfamily of poxviruses. Similar to these, blisters often form on the body during an infection. The incubation period is usually two weeks.

Monkeypox is usually transmitted through the air. But in some cases that have emerged recently, experts have assumed that the infection was caused by fluids. The majority of cases reported to date affect men who have had sexual contact with other men.

To date, monkeypox is known to occur mainly in some regions of Africa. According to the RKI, men who have sex with men should “seek medical attention immediately” if they have any unusual skin changes. Cases of monkeypox in humans have increased in Nigeria since 2017 – and travel-related cases mostly in the UK.

Read from our show: Fighting smallpox – smallpox – the scourge of humanity

Fairly light courses so far

According to the UKHSA, viral illness usually causes only mild symptoms, but can also have severe courses. According to this, only people who show symptoms and who have close contact are contagious.

According to the UKHSA, the first signs of illness include: fever, headache, muscle and back aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills and fatigue. A rash can develop, which often spreads to other parts of the body, starting with the face. The rash looks different by stage and can resemble chickenpox and syphilis.

Vaccination against smallpox protects greatly

According to the World Health Organization, the once common smallpox vaccination is 85 percent effective against monkeypox infection. This was reported on Saturday in Geneva, citing studies. Routine smallpox vaccination was discontinued after smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980.

The World Health Organization reports that deaths from monkeypox can occur primarily among young children and people with weakened immune systems, such as those caused by HIV infection.

Read from our presentation: Researchers in Berlin – How the epidemic early warning system works

No treatment, no vaccination

To date, there is no specific treatment or vaccine against monkeypox. Smallpox has been considered eradicated worldwide since 1980 after a major vaccination campaign. According to the RKI, large parts of the world’s population are no longer protected from vaccination.

Experts suspect that the pathogen of monkeypox is spread in rodents, and monkeys are considered pseudo-hosts. “The infection can be transmitted through contact with secretions from infected animals,” the RKI report says. “Sexual transmission of smallpox viruses is also possible.”

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