Monkeypox: Liverpool City Council issues health advice as cases of rare virus increase in the UK

People should not walk into a clinic without first discussing their symptoms.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said on Monday it has detected 36 additional cases of the virus, taking the total in England to 56.

Sign up to our LiverpoolWorld Today newsletter

With cases detected across parts of Europe and North America the World Health Organization (WHO) has said we should expect to see more instances in the coming days, but declared the situation ‘containable’.

Maria Van Kerkhove, emerging disease lead at WHO, told the BBC: “This is a containable situation, particularly in the countries where we are seeing these outbreaks that are happening across Europe.

“We can stop human-to-human transmission.”

Monkeypox causes a rash which goes through different stages before finally forming a scab

UK cases have been detected in London and both the North East and South East of England, with Scotland announcing its first case on Monday.

There have been no official cases recorded in Liverpool to date and the virus is still rare in this country.

Liverpool City Council said anyone with concerns that they could be infected with monkeypox is advised to contact NHS 111 or a sexual health clinic.

People should call ahead to discuss their symptoms prior to any visit, and the phone number for Axess, the Liverpool Sexual Health Service is 0300 323 1300.

The council warned:“People should not walk into a clinic without first discussing their symptoms with the clinic team.”

What is monkeypox and how is it transmitted?

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus.

It is a rare infection that is mainly spread by wild animals in parts of west or central Africa, and the risk of catching it in the UK is very low.

Monkeypox causes lesions to develop in the mouth and on the body (Composite: Kim Mogg / NationalWorld)

The infection can be spread by touching items that have been used by someone who already has the infection.

It can also be spread if someone with monkeypox coughs or sneezes in the vicinity of others.

The virus is not deadly and usually passes through people’s systems in a couple of weeks without the need for treatment.

Monkeypox symptoms

If you are infected with monkeypox, it can take between five and 21 days for the first symptoms to appear.

It can cause high temperatures, headaches, muscle aches, backache, swollen glands, chills and exhaustion.

Monkeypox also leaves rashes and raised bumps on people’s skin.

The spots are filled with a fluid which eventually becomes a scab and falls off.

A smallpox jab offers protection as the virus is similar to Monkeypox.

Monkeypox spread in the UK

The UKHSA announced the first case in the current outbreak was in a person who had returned to London from Nigeria, which is where they were believed to have contracted the infection.

As of May 24, there have been a reported 57 cases of monkeypox in the UK - 56 in England and one in Scotland.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid, said: “Most cases are mild, and I can confirm we have procured further doses of vaccines that are effective against monkeypox.”