The World Health Organization said at the weekend there are 257 cases confirmed and 120 suspected cases in 23 countries where the virus is not endemic.
Health authorities in Britain issued new guidance to control the spread of the monkeypox virus in the country.
The guidance, issued by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) as well as its counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, sets out measures for healthcare professionals and the public for managing the disease and preventing further transmission as "community transmission is occurring here in the UK and other countries."
Latest official figures show there are now more than 100 confirmed cases in Britain. Globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) said at the weekend there are 257 cases confirmed and 120 suspected cases in 23 countries where the virus is not endemic. Included in the new guidance is for people to abstain from having sex while symptomatic with monkeypox.
"Whilst there is currently no available evidence of monkeypox in genital excretions, as a precaution, cases are advised to use condoms for eight weeks after infection and this guidance will be updated as evidence emerges," said UKHSA.
People who have possible, probable or confirmed monkeypox are being told to now isolate at home, if they remain well enough. Contacts of someone with monkeypox will also be risk assessed and told to isolate for 21 days if necessary.
#Monkeypox Anyone with unusual rashes or lesions on any part of their body should contact NHS 111 or call a sexual health service. Get the latest updates: https://t.co/ksmBnhXW8u pic.twitter.com/14yVRs6kCZ— Rochdale Borough Council (@RochdaleCouncil) May 31, 2022
Guidance has also been issued to doctors, nurses and health staff detailing the minimum recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff working with confirmed cases.
UKHSA also said Monday it had purchased over 20,000 doses of a safe smallpox vaccine, which are being offered to identified close contacts of people diagnosed with monkeypox to reduce the risk of symptomatic infection and severe illness.
"This new monkeypox guidance sets out important measures for healthcare professionals and the public for managing the disease including how to safely isolate at home and reduce the risk to others... The highest risk of transmission is through direct contact with someone with monkeypox. The risk to the UK population remains low," Ruth Milton, Strategic Response Director at UKHSA.
Although the new guidance includes similar precautions introduced for hospital and care home staff dealing with coronavirus, Paul Hunter, an expert in microbiology and communicable disease control, said.
"Monkeypox is not a COVID situation and it will never be a COVID situation," he pointed out, adding that scientists were puzzled as there currently seems to be no apparent link between many cases in the current wave of monkeypox infections.
#Health | Developed by African scientists, the Malaria Vaccine is the first one against a parasitic disease. pic.twitter.com/8eMq4EUZtU— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) October 11, 2021