Monkeypox: UK advises those with symptoms to isolate at home and abstain from sex

Monkeypox: UK advises those with symptoms to isolate at home and abstain from sex




People infected with monkeypox should abstain from sex as soon as symptoms appear, and should avoid contact with other people, until their lesions have healed and the scabs have dried off, the UK’s health security agency (UKHSA) said on Monday, as part of fresh guidance as situations of the mild viral illness surge in the country.

The highest risk of transmission is by direct contact with someone with monkeypox – but the overall risk to the UK population remains low, said Ruth Milton, senior medical advisor and monkeypox strategic response director at UKHSA.

More than 300 suspected and confirmed situations of monkeypox – a usually mild illness that spreads by close contact and can cause flu-like symptoms and pus-filled skin lesions – have been reported in May, mostly in Europe.

Scientists are consequently looking into what might explain this uncommon surge of situations.

The UKHSA on Monday indicated community transmission was occuring in the UK and that infected people should avoid contact with others until their lesions have healed and the scabs have dried off, and abstain from sex as soon as symptoms appear.

Whilst there is currently no obtainable evidence of monkeypox spreading via genital excretions, people infected with the virus are advised to use condoms for eight weeks after infection as a precaution, the agency additional.

The highest risk of transmission is by direct contact with someone with monkeypox – but the overall risk to the UK population remains low, said Ruth Milton, senior medical advisor and monkeypox strategic response director at UKHSA.

The agency, which is offering a vaccine to close contacts of situations, has procured more than 20,000 doses of a smallpox vaccine made by Bavarian Nordic.

The smallpox and monkeypox virus are closely related.

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