LONDON: The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has detected 71 new human cases of monkeypox in the country, local media reported on Monday.
All of the new cases have been identified in England, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the UK since May 7 to 179, according to Sky News.
Earlier, the UK Health Agency said that despite new cases, the risk to the population remains low. However, the health agency has advised those in contact with the cases to self-isolate for 21 days.
In addition, the UKHSA has stocked a safe smallpox vaccine and is offering it to human close contacts diagnosed with monkeypox to reduce the risk of symptomatic infection and severe illness.
Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms very similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe. It is caused by the monkeypox virus which belongs to the orthopoxvirus genus of the Poxviridae family.
Monkeypox virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding. The incubation period of monkeypox is usually from 6 to 13 days but can range from 5 to 21 days.