Seven more monkeypox cases found in England bringing UK total to 78

It brings the total number in the UK to 78, with 77 cases identified in England and one in Scotland. Credit: Getty

There are now at least 78 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the UK, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said.

The seven new confirmed cases mean so far there are 77 cases identified in England and one in Scotland.

As of May 24, no cases have been identified in Wales or Northern Ireland, the UKHSA said.

Monkeypox is a rare infection that, before this outbreak, had usually been found to spread by wild animals in parts of west or central Africa.

The risk of catching it in the UK is very low, however, the cases confirmed in the UK are not all one cluster - with separate cases springing up that are unconnected.

People with unusual rashes or lesions, particularly if they have had a new sexual partner, have been urged to contact NHS 111 or their local sexual health clinic.


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But health officials stressed people should phone ahead before attending in person.

The UKHSA said a “notable proportion of the cases” identified have been among people who are gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men.

These people in particular have been urged to be aware of symptoms, particularly if they have recently had a new sexual partner.

Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser for the UKHSA, said: “If anyone suspects they might have rashes or lesions on any part of their body, particularly if they have recently had a new sexual partner, they should limit their contact with others and contact NHS 111 or their local sexual health service as soon as possible – though please phone ahead before attending in person."

What are the symptoms of monkeypox?

  • a high temperature

  • a headache

  • muscle aches

  • backache

  • swollen glands

  • shivering (chills)

  • exhaustion

The stages of Monkeypox Credit: UK Health Security Agency

A rash, which often begins on the face before spreading, usually appears one to five days after the first symptoms.

The rash, sometimes confused with chickenpox, starts as raised spots before becoming small fluid-filled blisters. The blisters eventually form scabs and later fall off.

Symptoms usually clear up in two to four weeks.