Monkeypox outbreak is ‘biggest-ever in Europe’ and an ‘epidemic’, says expert – World News

The number of cases in Europe is the largest outbreak ever reported, with 20 in the UK alone, according to the WHO, after an expert warned it has reached epidemic proportions

Monkeypox has reached epidemic proportions, expert says (File Photo)

The outbreak of monkeypox, which has been detected across Europe and North America, has reached epidemic proportions, an expert has warned.

The World Health Organization (WHO) holds daily meetings to keep up to date with the latest health threats.

So far, 20 cases have been found in the UK, with additional cases in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the US, Canada and Australia.

German scientists say the outbreak of the viral disease, which can cause symptoms including fever, headaches, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes and chills, is the largest ever seen in Europe.

It’s rare outside of Africa, which is why health leaders are raising concerns.

Cases of monkeypox are usually limited to areas in West Africa


(Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF)

Fabian Leendertz from the Robert Koch Institute described the current outbreak as an epidemic.

He assured: “However, it is very unlikely that this epidemic will last long.

“Contact tracing is a good way to isolate cases, and there are also drugs and effective vaccines that can be used if needed.”

The WHO held an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the dangers of the rare viral infection.

Recent updates suggest that it is spread through very close contact such as sex, with most of the first cases being discovered in homosexual men.

Spain reported 24 new cases on Friday, mainly in the Madrid region, where the regional government has closed a sauna linked to the highest number of infections.

Health chief Enrique Ruiz Escudero added: “The health department will carry out an even more detailed analysis … to control the contagion, break the chains of transmission and try to contain the transmission of this virus as much as possible.”

A hospital in Israel has also treated a man who was showing symptoms consistent with the disease after recently arriving from western Europe.

Twenty cases of the virus have now been identified in the UK



Most of the cases currently being investigated in Europe have been mild so far, and most of those infected are expected to recover within a few weeks without treatment.

dr Hans Kluge added: “Anyone concerned about an unusual skin rash should consult their doctor or healthcare provider.

“People suspected of having monkeypox should be screened and isolated from the first onset of symptoms.

“Spreading occurs primarily through close physical contact, including sexual contact, with someone who has monkeypox.”

There are fears summer could bring more trouble thanks to parties and outdoor festivals.

There are now fears that monkeypox could have a “massive impact” on access to sexual health services, a top doctor has warned.

The virus is transmitted through close contact such as sex


(Getty Images)

dr Claire Dewsnap, president of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, said she was concerned about how the infection could affect services as staff who come into contact with those affected are being forced to isolate themselves.

She told the BBC that clinic staff were “already under significant pressure” before monkeypox was identified, making the situation worse.

She added: “It is already taking a toll on the workforce and will have a massive impact if staff are required to isolate when in close contact with someone who is infected.

“In terms of the infection and its consequences for individuals, I am not very concerned.

“I am concerned about our ability to maintain good sexual health services and access for all while managing this new infection.”

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