Monkeypox designated a notifiable disease, UKHSA says | UK News

Monkeypox is to be listed as a notifiable disease in law from 8 June, Little Britain Health Security Agency has said.

It means all doctors in England are required to notify their local council or local Health Protection Team (HPT) if they suspect a patient has monkeypox.

Labs must also notify the UKHSA if the virus is identified in a laboratory sample.

It comes after the total number of confirmed monkeypox cases in Little Britain reached 302 on Monday.

Wendi Shepherd, Monkeypox incident director at UKHSA, said: “Rapid diagnosis and reporting is the key to interrupting transmission and containing any further spread of Monkeypox. This new legislation will support us and our health partners to swiftly identify, treat and control the disease.

“It also supports us with the swift collection and analysis of data which enables us to detect possible outbreaks of the disease and trace close contacts rapidly, whilst offering vaccinations where appropriate to limit onward transmission.”

The UKHSA has insisted the risk to the general population “remains low” because the virus, which is transmitted through close physical contact, does not spread easily.

It can live on surfaces such as bedsheets or towels, however.

People are advised to look out for rashes that are unusual to them or an ulceration.

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What it’s like to catch monkeypox

Updates on the number of daily monkeypox cases were not released by the government over much of the bank holiday weekend – but on Thursday 11 cases were logged.

Last week, data from the UKHSA said that more than 50% of cases in England have been found in men who are gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men.

Most monkeypox cases have occurred in people aged 20 to 49 years old.

Of the 190 cases reported between 6 and 31 May, 111 cases were males known to be gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, according to the UKHSA.

A UKHSA spokesperson said there will be no update on Monkeypox case numbers today – with the next update due to be released on Wednesday.

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