Over the last few years, we’ve had the Covid-19 pandemic, a surge of Strep A cases among children, and even an outbreak of Monkeypox. Although it remains rare in the UK, here is what you should know about your risks.
In May 2022, the first cases of Mpox, as it is now known, were detected in the UK, despite the disease typically being found in west or central Africa. Some of those who were infected had recently returned from Nigeria, while others had not been to Africa, suggesting the virus had begun to spread in the UK.
This, understandably, became very concerning to Brits, particularly those who are immunosuppressed or have young children, as Mpox causes high temperatures, headaches, backaches and muscle aches, chills, exhaustion, joint pain, a rash and even anal bleeding.
To control the spread of the disease, doctors have urged everyone who is eligible for the vaccination, including healthcare workers, gay or bisexual men, or people who have been in close contact with someone who has Mpox, to get the jab.
It is also wise to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, and talk to sexual partners about any symptoms they might have. Do not share bedding or towels or have close contact with anyone suspected of Mpox.
Dr Jake Dunning, a leading consultant in infectious disease at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, told Ham & High: “The concern is that if you have just low-level infection bubbling along then the outbreak could reignite again.”
There are currently more than 85,500 cases of Mpox worldwide, including nearly 4,000 in the UK.
To reduce the risk of contracting any infectious disease, it is wise to wear silicone fingertip covers when out and about and maintain a high standard of personal hygiene.