June 01, 2022: -U.K. health authorities have insisted anyone with monkeypox virus refrain from sex until their symptoms have emptied.
On Monday, the U.K. The Health Security Agency suggested that previously infected individuals can use protections as a precautionary measure for eight weeks after the virus has passed.
According to the health agency, the risks to the general public have lesser chances but suggested people contact a health professional if they notice any kind of rashes or lesions.
This was advised after Britain registered a further 71 cases of the virus this weekend, bringing the U.K. total to 179 just a month after May 7.
The U.K. now has the highest monkeypox case count among non-endemic countries, Spain with 120 and Portugal with 96.
As of Monday, there were 555 confirmed and suspected cases of monkeypox in countries outside of Africa, according to Our World in Data.
Monkeypox is a rare infectious disease typically found in Central and West African countries. Symptoms include rashes, fever, headaches, muscle ache, swelling, and back pain.
While the virus is generally mild, usually clearing up on its own within two to four weeks, health experts have voiced concern over the recent spike in cases in countries where monkeypox does not traditionally spread and the growing risks of community transmission.
According to the World Health Organization, most cases so far have been spread through sex, with a particular concentration of cases occurring within the gay and bisexual communities and men who have sex with men.
On Monday, the public health body said that it was not yet clear whether the current outbreak could result in a pandemic worldwide but noted a chance to curb rising cases.
“Collectively, the world has an opportunity to stop this outbreak. During a briefing,” Rosamund Lewis, the WHO’s technical lead for monkeypox, said there is a window of opportunities.
The WHO further said that it is now considering whether the outbreak should be determined as a “potential public health emergency of international concern.” It noted that such a declaration was done for the Covid-19 and Ebola outbreaks and would enable additional research and funding to contain the disease.