UK COVID-19 expert: Monkeypox requires ‘substantial public health response’
Cases have been told to avoid physical contact and keep at least one metre away from others
Sir Andrew Pollard, who helped develop the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, has shared that the tropical virus outbreak does not pose the same threat as COVID-19, but that monkeypox does still require a “substantial public health response.”
There are currently nearly 350 confirmed cases of the virus in England.
Pollard warned that actions are still needed to contain the disease.
UKHSA has additionally released new guidance advising households where someone has been infected to sleep and eat in separate rooms, and if possible, to use separate bathrooms.
The agency shared: “Where the use of a separate room isn’t possible, cases should avoid physical contact and keep at least three steps (one metre) away from all household members. It is particularly important that they avoid close contact with young children, pregnant women, and immunosuppressed people as they may be at higher risk of serious illness.”
London remains the epicentre of the virus outbreak, which has now almost reached 40 countries.
Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical advisor at UKHSA commented: “Self-isolation is an important measure for protecting others from monkeypox. Staying at home and doing all we can to avoid close contact with other people in the household will prevent the spread of this virus. We know that self-isolation is not easy for some so it’s important that people ask for support if needed.”
People with monkeypox have been told they should not end their isolation until 72 hours have passed without a high temperature, all lesions have scabbed over and a fresh layer of skin has formed, and no new lesions have formed in the previous 48 hours.
The UK has recorded the most cases in the evergrowing worldwide cluster, followed by Spain (199), Portugal (166) and Canada (100).