10 newly detected cases of mpox were reported in the UK between April 30 and May 25, 2023. This rise in cases has prompted calls to extend vaccination efforts across the nation, which are scheduled to finish up at the end of July.
On May 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the 2022 mpox outbreak is no longer a public health emergency, but the virus has not disappeared. With recent cases detected in the US, France, and now the UK, medical experts advise that people be aware of potential outbreaks this summer.
The virus is spread through close physical contact, including sexual contact, and the best protection against the virus is getting the vaccine. One dose offers 78% immunity against the virus 14 days after receiving the jab, and the second dose provides long-term protection.
Of the 10 cases, all of which were reported in London, five individuals were unvaccinated, and two had only received one dose of the vaccine. Health experts in the UK are encouraging everyone who is eligible and not yet fully vaccinated to book a vaccine appointment by June 16 so that they can be fully vaccinated before their vaccination program ends. Additionally, some experts are calling for the program to be extended.
Today @UKHSA has announced 10 new cases of #mpox in London.
We are calling for the extension of the current vaccine programme for gay and bisexual men, as well as for continued vigilance to the signs and symptoms of #mpox.
Here’s a statement from our Head of Policy @cerismith. pic.twitter.com/nLVM1fGEsz
— Terrence Higgins Trust (@THTorguk) May 25, 2023
In 2022, 53,000 cases of mpox were detected in 75 countries. While early cases were detected in the UK, Ireland assembled a national crisis management team focusing on those populations at the highest risk, including gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM).
The WHO praised Ireland for its efforts in controlling the country’s mpox outbreak after MPOWER volunteers distributed flyers to bars and clubs throughout the country, published risk information on dating apps, and encouraged those eligible to get vaccinated. The campaign was incredibly successful, and the vaccine programme significantly contributed to the decline in cases.
We’re encouraging people to remain vigilant to mpox ahead of the summer months, as the latest data shows an increase in mpox cases in London over the past four weeks.
Read more: https://t.co/ByxdjAWCoT#Mpox #Vaccination pic.twitter.com/grsIHqC5vO
— UK Health Security Agency (@UKHSA) May 25, 2023
Thanks to MPOWER’s community engagement efforts, mpox has been nearly eliminated in Ireland, with only one known case in 2023. Adam Shanley, MPOWER Programme Manager, said, “The UK, our closest neighbour, was an epicentre for the mpox outbreak and yet we were able to maintain relatively low numbers in comparison.”
Medical experts advise anyone who develops mpox symptoms to get tested. Early symptoms include fever, body aches and swollen lymph nodes. The rash begins with flat red lesions that swell into a sore, itchy rash across the body.
In Ireland, those who are over 18, in an at-risk group, and have not yet had mpox are eligible to book a vaccine appointment online.
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