Sunday, June 26

US releasing monkeypox vaccine from stockpile for ‘high-risk’ people – latest


WHO doctor explains how monkeypox spread among humans

Monkeypox cases in Britain have almost tripled as further infections continue to be reported in the United States.

The latest set of figures released by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) on Monday afternoon confirmed that the number of cases in England is up by 36, bringing the total number of monkeypox cases confirmed since May 7 to 56.

Scotland confirmed its first case on the same day, bringing the total to 57.

Meanwhile in the US there have been reports of monkeypox infections in Utah, New York, Massachusetts and Florida.

It comes as sexual activity at raves in Europe may have sparked the international monkeypox outbreak, a leading advisor to the World Health Organisation has said.

Dr David Heymann, who formerly headed the global public health body’s emergencies department, said the leading theory focussed on sexual transmission at two events in Spain and Belgium.

There have been more than 100 confirmed or suspected monkeypox infections around the world in the current outbreak, which have mostly been in Europe.

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Monkeypox outbreak ‘may have been sparked by sex at raves’

Calling the unprecedented outbreak of monkeypox in developed countries a “random event”, a leading adviser to the World Health Organisation said it might have been sparked by sexual behaviour at raves.

Test tubes labelled ‘Monkeypox virus positive’ are seen in this illustration taken 22 May 2022

(Reuters)

That marks a significant departure from the disease’s typical pattern of spread in central and western Africa, where people are mainly infected by animals like wild rodents and primates and outbreaks have not spilled across borders.

Namita Singh24 May 2022 05:45

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‘Keep an eye’ on monkeypox, warns PM

Boris Johnson has said monkeypox is a rare disease but it is important to “keep an eye on it”.

The prime minister told reporters in London: “It’s basically a very rare disease and so far the consequences don’t seem to be very serious, but it’s important that we keep an eye on it and that’s exactly what the new UK Health Security Agency is doing.”

Asked whether there should be a quarantine for visitors or the use of the smallpox vaccine, Mr Johnson said: “As things stand the judgment is that it’s rare.



I think we’re looking very carefully at the circumstances of transmission. It hasn’t yet proved fatal in any case that we know of, certainly not in this country.

Boris Johnson

Meanwhile, Downing Street said there are no plans to hold a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee over monkeypox or to impose any travel bans.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at at 10 Downing Street on 23 May 2022 in London, England

(Getty Images)

The prime minister’s official spokesman said that while vaccines are being offered to close contacts, there are no plans for an “at scale” vaccination programme.

Namita Singh24 May 2022 05:18

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ICYMI: What are monkeypox symptoms and how does it spread?

Monkeypox, a rare tropical disease spread by wild animals in Africa, has unexpectedly spread abroad this month, posing questions about what precisely it is and how dangerous it might be.

A relatively mild viral infection, the disease has a six-to-16 day incubation period and sees patients first suffer fever, headaches, swellings, back pain, aching muscles and a general listlessness in its opening stages.

Once that passes and the fever breaks, the sufferer will experience a skin eruption, in which a rash spreads across the face, followed by the rest of the body, most commonly the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

The blemishes evolve from lesions into crusted blisters, which can then take three weeks to heal and disappear. While it would have initially been transmitted to humans by contact with the blood or bodily fluids of contaminated primates, or via intermediary rodents such as tree squirrels and Gambian rats, it is much more likely to be caught from fellow humans.



Because the virus spreads through close contact, we are urging everyone to be aware of any unusual rashes or lesions and to contact a sexual health service if they have any symptoms.

Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser at the UKHSA

Namita Singh24 May 2022 05:11

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Experts warn against ‘misinformation, stigma and discrimination’ surrounding monkeypox

The WHO has warned against “misinformation, stigma and discrimination” around monkeypox.

Speaking during a question and answer session, Andy Seale, strategic adviser with the WHO’s HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections programme, said: “There are ways that we can work with communities to learn from really decades of experience around tackling stigma and discrimination with HIV. We want to apply that lesson, those lessons learned, to this experience.”

A child affected by monkeypox receiving treatment in Zomea Kaka, in the Lobaya region, in the Central African Republic on 18 October 2018

(AFP via Getty Images)

Namita Singh24 May 2022 04:59

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ICYMI: Monkey pox cases in UK rise to 57

The number of confirmed monkeypox cases in the UK has gone up to 57. There are 56 confirmed cases in England, while Scotland reported its first case on Monday, revealed the figures released by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

Northern Ireland’s Public Health Agency and Public Health Wales, each said they have had no confirmed cases.

But health officials warned the residents that even though the outbreak is “significant and concerning,” the risk to the UK population remains low.

The government has stocks of the smallpox vaccine which is being offered to very close contacts of those affected.

Those at the highest risk of contracting the disease are being directed to self-isolate at home for 21 days and monitor the symptoms.

Namita Singh24 May 2022 04:46

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‘US health officials releasing some Jynneos vaccine doses for monkeypox’

US health officials are in the process of releasing some Jynneos vaccine doses for use in monkeypox cases, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday.

The US approved the use of more than 1,000 doses of the vaccine from the national stockpile, said the CDC officials, adding they expect this to ramp up quickly in the coming days.

Namita Singh24 May 2022 04:35

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‘We don’t need to panic,’ public health officials say

Monkeypox will not cause the same kind of world-shaping disease outbreak as Covid, according to public health officials.

“We have vaccines squirreled away by our government,” Blossom Damania, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, told NBC. “I don’t think people need to be alarmed. Monkeypox is a serious disease. We need to respect it and take it seriously, but we don’t need to panic.”

There are also two FDA-approved therapeutic drugs for smallpox that will likely treat the rare condition.

Josh Marcus24 May 2022 04:00

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LGBTQ+ people ‘notable fraction’ of monkeypox cases, CDC says

Public health officials are quick to note that people of all identities can catch and spread monkeypox, but they have said that a “notable fraction of cases” during this year’s outbreak are among gay and bisexual men.

“Some groups may have a greater chance of exposure right now, but by no means is the current risk of exposure to monkeypox exclusively to the gay and bisexual community in the US,” Dr John Brooks, chief medical officer for the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, said on Monday. “Anyone, anyone, can develop [and] spread monkeypox infection, but … many of those affected in the current global outbreak identified as gay and bisexual men.”

Josh Marcus24 May 2022 03:30

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US considered mass vaccinations that could’ve stopped monkeypox

After the 9/11 attacks, US officials considered immunising the entire population against smallpox, a treatment that would’ve also protected against monkeypox.

However, the decision was ruled out because older smallpox vaccines carry a small risk of severe side effects, meaning mass vaccination campaigns would inevitably put some at risk.

“In the end, it was decided no, because of the negative consequences of vaccinating lots of people,” Bill Hanage, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told The New York Times.

“Vaccine side effects are rare,” he added. “But once you start giving it to millions of people, then they will start to add up.”

Josh Marcus24 May 2022 02:45

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Washington identifies first likely monkeypox case

The patient was identified as a only man who recently traveled to a country where other cases have been identified.

County health leaders said there’s no suspected health outbreak, and that less than a dozen people had close contact with the man.

The CDC will continue monitoring the situation, along with King County.

Josh Marcus24 May 2022 02:00

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