BRITS taking part in Jubilee weekend celebrations have be warned to be vigilant as cases of monkeypox continue to rise.
There are currently 106 confirmed cases of the illness in the UK, after 16 additional infections were revealed on Friday.
Monkeypox is a mild illness which gets better with time, in very rare cases it can lead to death.
It’s most prevalent in parts of west or central Africa, but cases have now been detected globally.
Millions of people across the country will be taking part in celebrating 70 years of service of our current monarch.
Events such as street parties, pub gatherings and barbeques are set to take place.
But as more people gather, medics have warned of the potential spread of monkeypox cases.
Consultant in Health Protection at UKHSA South West Dr Charlotte Bigland said: “Monkeypox is circulating nationally and internationally, so it’s important to for people to stay vigilant.
“There has been a notable number of cases identified among people who are gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men, so we are asking these groups in particular to be aware of the symptoms, particularly if they have recently had a new sexual partner.
“Anyone with unusual rashes or lesions on any part of their body should contact 111 or their local sexual health service for advice.
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The signs of monkeypox you need to know
Initial symptoms of monkeypox include:
- Muscle aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Chills and exhaustion
A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body including the genitals.
The rash changes and goes through different stages.
At first it can look like chickenpox, before bumps become raised and filled with pus.
These lesions finally form a scab, which later falls off.
“If you think you might have Monkeypox, please phone ahead before attending a healthcare setting in person so we can ensure a good clinical experience.”
Initial symptoms are usually “non-specific” and are like a viral illness, medics say.
A chickenpox-type rash later spreads across parts of the body.
The rash usually affects the face, hands and arms, but can spread to the genital areas.
But the government has stockpiled vaccines and everyone who has been in contact with someone who has the illness has been given a dose.
Dr Bigland also urged Brits to be wary of coronavirus spread – especially as people will be using public transport a lot over the weekend.
The most recent data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) states that one in 60 people in the UK currently have the bug.
There are no remaining restrictions in the UK but Dr Bigland advised that people who are mixing indoors, or who are using public transport should wear face masks.
She added: “Washing your hands frequently and ensuring you cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing can prevent the spread of Covid-19, as well as lots of other common infections.
“The best protection against COVID-19 is to get fully vaccinated.”
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