British scientists say it’s unclear if monkeypox has peaked

Jun 10, 2022, 10:11 AM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 5:20 am
FILE - This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Pr...

FILE - This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. British health officials said they cannot tell if the spread of monkeypox has peaked in the country as they announced another 45 cases Friday, June 10, 2022. That makes for a total of 366 cases in the biggest-ever outbreak of the disease beyond Africa. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, File)

(Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, File)

LONDON (AP) — British health officials said they cannot tell if the spread of monkeypox has peaked in the country as they announced another 45 cases Friday, bringing the total in the disease’s biggest-ever outbreak beyond Africa to 366 cases.

Britain’s Health Security Agency said 99% of the total cases were in men and that nearly all of the 152 men who provided detailed information identified as gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men. About 80% of cases were in London, and the median age of the people infected was 38, the agency said.

“We cannot yet determine if transmission has stopped increasing,” the agency said in a report, citing the reporting delay between when patients experienced symptoms and were confirmed as having monkeypox.

Anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, is susceptible to the monkeypox virus if they come into close physical contact with an infected person or their bedsheets or clothes.

“Findings show that monkeypox is being distributed in geographically diffuse sexual networks,” the British scientists wrote, adding that some of these connections extended beyond the U.K. “Most cases reported having sexual contact with new or casual partners, sometimes in the context of cruising grounds or chemsex,” the experts said, referring to sex combined with drug use.

The experts noted that contact details for sexual partners were often unavailable.

Last month, a leading adviser to the World Health Organization said the outbreak in Europe and beyond was likely spread by sex at two recent raves in Spain and Belgium.

Earlier this week, WHO said more than 1,000 cases of monkeypox had been reported in 29 countries that haven’t previously had outbreaks of the smallpox-related disease, including the United States, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Canada. Poland reported its first case on Friday. No deaths have been reported.

Britain’s Health Security Agency found that many of the cases in the U.K. involved men who reported having sex in saunas, dark rooms or sex clubs.

“Therefore, collaborating with sex-on-premises venues to implement targeted interventions would support outbreak control,” the agency said. It added that using targeted messages on dating apps might also be useful or “support innovative approaches to contact tracing.”

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was likely monkeypox has been transmitting undetected for some time beyond Africa and that the U.N. health agency was concerned the disease might start to infect more vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women and children.

WHO’s top monkeypox expert, Dr. Rosamund Lewis, said earlier this week there was still “a window of opportunity” to stop monkeypox from jumping into the general population and those more at risk of severe disease.

Most monkeypox patients experience only fever, body aches, chills and fatigue. People with more serious illness may develop a rash and lesions on the face and hands that can spread to other parts of the body. In severe cases involving people without access to health care, WHO has noted a death rate of 3 to 6%.

The ongoing outbreak of monkeypox in Britain and elsewhere, marks the first time the disease has been known to spread among people who have no previous travel links to Africa.

The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that so far this year, there have been more than 1,400 monkeypox cases and 66 deaths in four countries where the disease is endemic — Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo and Nigeria. Genetic sequencing of the virus hasn’t yet shown any direct link to the outbreak outside Africa.

British scientists said they found three mutations in the monkeypox virus spreading in the U.K. that they classed as “high priority” since they were found to worsen the disease in rats. They said more research was needed to tell if the changes were significant.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies as the ...
Associated Press

1/6 Takeaways: Angry Trump, dire legal warnings and ketchup

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Jan. 6 committee held a surprise hearing Tuesday delivering alarming new testimony about Donald Trump’s angry, defiant and vulgar actions as he ignored repeated warnings against summoning the mob to the Capitol and then refused to intervene to stop the deadly violence as rioters laid siege. Witness Cassidy Hutchinson, a […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Ratings show Fox News viewers tuning out Jan. 6 hearings

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News Channel is airing the Jan. 6 committee hearings when they occur in daytime hours and a striking number of the network’s viewers have made clear they’d rather be doing something else. During two daytime hearings last week, Fox averaged 727,000 viewers, the Nielsen company said. That compares to the […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

California budget won’t cover out-of-state abortion travel

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — While Gov. Gavin Newsom has pledged to make California a sanctuary for women seeking abortions, his administration won’t spend public money to help people from other states travel to California for the procedure. Newsom’s decision, included in a budget agreement reached over the weekend, surprised abortion advocates who have been working […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa, from the Philippines, attends a news conference in O...
Associated Press

Maria Ressa: Philippines affirms news site shutdown order

HONOLULU (AP) — Filipino journalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa announced in a speech in Hawaii Tuesday that the Philippine government is affirming a previous order to shut down Rappler, the news website she co-founded, which has gained notoriety for its reporting of President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody crackdown on illegal drugs. The Philippines’ […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks during a news conference June 7, 2022, in Ne...
Associated Press

NYC mayor: Investigate Giuliani for ‘false’ slap claim

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams suggested Tuesday that former Mayor Rudy Giuliani be investigated for filing a false police report for claiming he was assaulted by a heckler who clapped him on the back Sunday at a Staten Island grocery store. “Someone needs to remind former Mayor Giuliani that falsely […]
19 hours ago
This exhibit from video released by the House Select Committee, shows a photo of former President D...
Associated Press

Trump painted in testimony as volatile, angry president

WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Donald Trump learned his attorney general had publicly rejected his election fraud claims, he heaved his lunch at the wall with such force that the porcelain plate shattered and ketchup streamed down. On the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, consumed by crowd size concerns, he directed staff in profane terms […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
British scientists say it’s unclear if monkeypox has peaked