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14 more monkeypox cases confirmed by health officials

Health officials stressed the risk to the UK population ‘remains low’ (Alamy/PA)
Health officials stressed the risk to the UK population ‘remains low’ (Alamy/PA)

Health officials have confirmed 14 more cases of monkeypox in England.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said a total of 70 cases have been confirmed in England since May 7.

Scotland confirmed its first case on Monday, bringing the UK total to 71.

No cases have been identified in Wales or Northern Ireland.

Health officials stressed the risk to the UK population “remains low” but it urged anyone with unusual rashes or lesions on any part of their body to contact NHS 111 or their local sexual health service.

UKHSA said a “notable proportion” of the cases identified have been among gay or bisexual men who have sex with men.

Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser for UKHSA, said: “We are continuing to promptly identify further monkeypox cases in England through our extensive surveillance and contact tracing networks, our vigilant NHS services and thanks to people coming forward with symptoms.

“If anyone suspects they might have rashes or lesions on any part of their body, particularly if they have recently had a new sexual partner, they should limit their contact with others and contact NHS 111 or their local sexual health service as soon as possible, though please phone ahead before attending in person.”

UKHSA teams have been tracing high-risk contacts of those with a confirmed case and are advising contacts to isolate for 21 days.

It is also offering a smallpox vaccine to close contacts to reduce their risk of symptoms and severe illness.