Suspected monkeypox cases reported in Middlesbrough and South Tyneside

As of 14 June, 524 cases have been confirmed in the UK. Credit: Science Media Library

Two suspected cases of monkeypox were reported by doctors in the North East last week, according to the latest weekly Government report.

In the week ending 12 June, local authorities were notified of one case in Middlesbrough and another in South Tyneside.

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

It is unknown whether the two suspected cases have been confirmed at the time of writing.

According to the UK Health Security Agency's (UKHSA) latest update on 14 June, 524 cases have been confirmed in the UK.

As of 8 June, two cases had been confirmed in the North East and three in Yorkshire and Humber. The vast majority of confirmed cases were in London.

One of the cases in the North East was one of the first confirmed in the UK.

Anyone can get monkeypox, particularly those who have had close contact with an individual with symptoms. Currently, most cases have been in men who are gay, bisexual or have sex with men.

People are urged to contact a sexual health clinic if they have a rash with blisters and in the last three weeks either been to West or Central Africa or in close contact with someone who has or might have monkeypox, even if they have not been tested yet.

On Monday 13 June, UKHSA published its first monkeypox technical briefing.

Dr Meera Chand, Director of Clinical and Emerging Infections, UKHSA said: "We are working, both in the UK and together with global partners, to progress the investigations that we need to help us better understand the virus, its transmission and the best use of mitigations such as vaccines and treatments.

"We use the new data rapidly to inform the public health response and we continue to work to reduce transmission."

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