Monkeypox outbreak could get 10 TIMES bigger: Scientists warn ‘major’ outbreak ‘very likely’

Covid-weary Britons were warned today that the monkeypox outbreak could grow 10 times bigger as another 200 cases were recorded in the biggest daily jump to date.

The claim was made by a top panel of experts, including members of the same government advisory committee behind dark models used to justify the lockdown restrictions.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine have argued that it is ‘very likely’ that another 10,000 people have the tropical virus worldwide.

The modeling suggested, however, that any increase in cases among groups other than gay and bisexual men was “unlikely”.

Dozens of countries, including the United States, Spain and Germany, have been hit by the outbreak – the largest ever detected outside Africa to date. So far, almost all infections have been detected in men who have sex with men.

Authorities are desperately trying to contain the tropical virus, fearing it could become endemic in Europe.

UK health bosses reported a further 219 infections today, taking the UK total to 793. London is the country’s virus hotspot.

UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) officials confirmed that 216 of the new cases had been detected in England, while two were spotted in Scotland and one was confirmed in Northern Ireland.

Authorities urge gay and bisexual men to be aware of new lesions, rashes or scabs and to get in touch with a sexual health clinic

Authorities urge gay and bisexual men to be aware of new lesions, rashes or scabs and to get in touch with a sexual health clinic

The infection often starts as small bumps that crust over and are contagious

The infection often starts as small bumps that crust over and are contagious

Monkey pox timeline

1958: Monkeypox was first discovered when an outbreak of a smallpox-like disease occurred in monkeys kept for research.

1970: The first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the infection has been reported in a number of countries in West and Central Africa since then.

2003: An outbreak of Monkeypox has occurred in the United States after the importation of rodents from Africa. Cases have been reported in humans and prairie dogs. All human infections have followed contact with an infected pet and all patients have recovered.

SEPTEMBER 8, 2018: Monkeypox first appeared in the UK in a Nigerian naval officer who traveled to Cornwall for training. They were treated at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2018: A second case of monkeypox in the UK is confirmed in Blackpool. There is no connection to the first case in Cornwall. Instead, the patient is believed to have contracted the infection while traveling in Nigeria. They were treated at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2018: A third person is diagnosed with monkeypox. The individual worked at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and treated the second case of Monkeypox. They were treated at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

DECEMBER 3, 2019: A patient has been diagnosed with monkeypox in England, marking the fourth case.

MAY 25, 2021: Two cases of monkeypox have been identified in North Wales. Both patients had travel ties to Nigeria.

A third person living with one of the cases has been diagnosed and admitted to hospital, bringing the total number to seven.

MAY 7, 2022: A person was diagnosed with Monkeypox in England after recently traveling to Nigeria. The person received treatment at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust Infectious Diseases Expert Unit in London.

MAY 14, 2022: Two more cases have been confirmed in London. The infected couple lived in the same household but had not been in contact with the case announced a week earlier.

One of these people received treatment at the expert infectious disease unit at St Mary’s Hospital in London. The other isolated himself at home and did not need hospital treatment.

MAY 16, 2022: Four more cases have been announced, bringing the UK total to seven. Three of these cases are in London, while one of their contacts is infected in the northeast of England.

The spate of cases has been described as ‘unusual’ and ‘surprising’, with experts warning gay and bisexual men to look out for new rashes.

MAY 19, 2022: Two other cases have been revealed, without travel links or links to other cases. The cases were based in the South East and London. Fears began to grow that the infections were going undetected.

MAY 20, 2022: Eleven more cases are announced, meaning Britain’s monkeypox outbreak has doubled to 20. Ministers are discussing the possibility of a public health campaign to warn gay men that the disease could be more spread for them

MAY 23-26, 2022: Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland record their first cases of monkeypox.

MAY 29, 2022: The World Health Organization (WHO) says the risk of monkeypox is “moderate”, citing concerns about the virus infecting children and immunocompromised people if it were to spread.

The scientists behind the monkeypox modeling include Professor John Edmunds, an LSHTM epidemiologist who was among the most outspoken members of SAGE during the Covid outbreak.

Two other authors of the study are also advisers to the government, sitting on the famous SPI-M modeling committee. He warned of up to 6,000 deaths a day in the run-up to Christmas which has just ended, although the actual peak is 20 times lower.

Without harsh interventions, they also warned that Omicron could potentially cause 10,000 daily hospitalizations to be exceeded, four times the figure that occurred in reality.

In their latest modelling, Professor Edmunds and other LSHTM scientists examined how monkeypox could continue to spread.

Their estimates were based on data on sexual partnerships in the UK, collected from a survey of 45,000 people every ten years.

Monkeypox, which will be renamed due to allegations that it discriminates against Africa, is not normally a sexually transmitted infection.

But it is thought to be the primary mode of transmission in the ongoing outbreak.

The virus, first discovered in laboratory monkeys in the 1950s, can also be spread by touching clothing, bedding or towels used by an infected person.

At the time of the May 31 modeling, 728 confirmed and suspected cases had been reported globally from more than 25 countries. Since then, almost 3,000 infections have been recorded worldwide.

The results, published on the pre-print website medRxiv, show that without interventions or changes in sexual behavior, it is “very likely” that a “major epidemic” will be seen among men who have sex with men.

A major outbreak was defined as at least 10,000 more cases, in addition to those already detected.

The modelers said their findings, which have not been peer-reviewed, show that a “small fraction” of individuals with a “disproportionately high” number of sexual partners could account for the “sustained growth” of monkeypox in men who have sex with men.

Monkeypox likely always had the risk of “substantial transmission potential” within this community, their paper states.

But it couldn’t take off because too few cases have been recorded outside Africa in recent decades, they said.

However, the team said sustained transmission in other groups is “unlikely”.

But they noted that between 10 and 10,000 more cases could be spotted outside the men who have sex with men community if many of that group were infected.

The rate of monkeypox R – a term made famous during the pandemic, which reflects the number of people an infected person transmits the virus to – can be “significantly higher than one”, which could make it difficult to contain the epidemic, according to their article.

Contact tracing and vaccination of close contacts of infected people – the approaches used in the UK – only work if nearly all of an infected person’s contacts are identified, they warned.

They said experts should identify “acceptable and effective” ways to prevent transmission among men with the highest number of sexual partners that could have a “disproportionate effect on overall transmission”.

It comes as the UKHSA today confirmed that Britain’s outbreak has risen 38% since Friday to 793.

Of the 766 cases with confirmed addresses, 498 are in London, 37 in the South East and 26 in the North West. All other regions have recorded 20 cases or less.

Public Health Scotland said on Sunday that all cases appeared to be “generally mild and not life-threatening” and that no deaths had been reported in the UK to date.

The monkeypox cases were aged 37 on average, health bosses said.

The UKHSA advises Britons to contact their sexual health clinic if they have a blistering rash and have been in close contact with a suspected or confirmed case of monkeypox or have been in West or Central Africa in the past of the last three weeks.

As part of efforts to thwart the ever-growing epidemic, confirmed cases and close contacts are being offered the Imvanex vaccine, which is 85% effective against the virus. The strategy, known as ring vaccination, has been used in the past and proven to work.

The disease is usually mild and has an incubation period of up to 21 days, meaning it can take up to three weeks for telltale symptoms to appear.

Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. A rash may develop, often starting on the face, which then spreads to other parts of the body, including the genitals.

However, it can kill up to 10% of the people it infects. But the milder strain behind the current outbreak has a case fatality rate of around one in 100 – similar to when Covid first struck.

No deaths related to the ongoing outbreak have yet been reported.

Outside the UK, Spain (497), Germany (421) and Portugal (297) have recorded the most infections.

Experts have warned that monkeypox could become endemic in animals in Europe, as it is in parts of Nigeria, if the virus spreads to pets and wildlife. This would make animals a permanent reservoir of the virus that could infect humans, triggering sporadic outbreaks.

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