Monkeypox outbreak is ‘unprecedented’ – the five signs you must not ignore, Dr Hilary warns

DR HILARY Jones has warned the outbreak of monkeypox is “unprecedented”, as he told Brits to be vigilant of the symptoms.

The UK has 20 cases so far, a number that will be updated on Monday by the UK Health and Security Agency, which says infections are being found “daily”. 

Monekypox primarily occurs in west Africa, but transmission is occurring across Europe, the US, Canada, Israel, and Australia.

The World Health Organization has confirmed 92 cases in 12 countries, with a suspected 28 others.

Good Morning Britain’s Dr Hilary said 20 cases among a population of 65 million in the UK “doesn’t sound a lot”.

“However, it does appear to be an unprecedented outbreak in 11 countries around the world,” he added.

Read more on monkeypox

UK says monkeypox contacts should ISOLATE for 21 days as more cases confirmed

Florida reports first presumptive case of monkeypox days after NYC

“It suggests that it has become a bit more transmissible.

“We know it is not a serious infection, usually. Mortality is about one per cent with the less virulent west African variant, if you want to call it a variant.

“We need to be vigilant. People need to know the symptoms of flu-like symptoms and a rash."

Dr Hilary warned to look out for:

  1. Fever
  2. Headache
  3. Backache
  4. Joint and muscle pains
  5. A rash that starts after a few days that at first looks like chickenpox before "causing pustules, little boils and scabs".

Most read in Health


UK says monkeypox contacts should ISOLATE for 21 days as more cases confirmed


Belgium introduces monkeypox QUARANTINE as virus spreads across Europe


I’m a doctor and here’s 3 period conditions no woman should ignore


Urgent warning for Brits to be alert to 'silent killer' high cholesterol signs

The monkeypox rash appears one to three days after the flu-like symptoms kick in.

It often starts on the face before spreading to others parts of the body, including the genital area.

The illness typically lasts between two and four weeks.

Dr Hilary said people should self-isolate if they have been in contact with someone who has monkeypox, as they are a high risk person and could spread it themselves.

He said: “Self isolation means not travelling, it means giving details so that contact tracing can occur.

“And we are adding supplies of smallpox vaccines to protect people who are at high risk, people who work in health services for example. 

“So for most people, no great concern at the moment but I think watch this space, we need to be vigilant.”

The symptoms of monkeypox are similar to, but milder, than smallpox – a deadly disease now eradicated.

The smallpox vaccine is also around 85 per cent effective at preventing the monkeypox bug because they come from the same family of viruses.


Dr Hilary’s reassuring message came as a UK Government minister said monkeypox is not a “repeat of” Covid-19.

Chief secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke told Sky News: "I would say I am cautious but I am certainly not concerned about our ability to handle the situation.

"There is a vaccine which is available and works for monkeypox, and all the evidence is that it is spread by physical contact.”

Britain has around 5,000 smallpox jabs, with orders for another 20,000.

Mr Clarke said he was not aware of reports in the Sunday Telegraph of a baby being in intensive care with monkeypox.

He said: "What I would say is we are cautious but we are certainly not in a position where I would in any way worry the public that this is some repeat of Covid, because it certainly does not appear to be anywhere near the same platform of seriousness."

Official Government guidance now recommends high risk contacts to self-isolate for 21 days.

The advice applies to anyone who has had sexual or household contact with an patient showing symptoms.

The virus can be passed on if someone sleeps in, or changes the sheets, of another who is infected. 

However, the virus does not usually spread easily between people. 

High risk contacts should also stay away from vulnerable people – those with compromised immune systems, pregnant women and children under 12 years old. 

The virus can be significantly more harmful in young children.

Dr Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Adviser, UKHSA, said “a notable proportion of recent cases in the UK and Europe have been found in gay and bisexual men”.

She said: “We are particularly encouraging them to be alert to the symptoms and seek help if concerned.”

Dr Hopkins told BBC One’s Sunday Morning that "more cases are being detected on a daily basis", after

She added: "We are finding cases that have no identified contact with an individual from west Africa, which is what we’ve seen previously in this country.”

Dr Charlotte Hammer, Everitt Butterfield Fellow in Emerging Infectious Diseases, University of Cambridge, said: “The increasing case numbers in the current monkeypox outbreak are certainly concerning. 

“It is very unusual to see community transmission in Europe, previous monkeypox cases have been in returning travellers with limited ongoing spread.

“However, based on the number of cases that were already discovered across Europe and the UK in the previous days, it is not unexpected that additional cases are now being and will be found, especially with the contact tracing that is now happening.”

Read More on The Sun

Ryanair steward arrested and sacked after ‘downing booze onflight’

£184M EuroMillions winners Jess and Joe Thwaite going on round-the-world holiday

Dr Michael Head, Senior Research Fellow in Global Health, University of Southampton, said the escalating outbreak is “undoubtedly worrying”.

“The extent of the community transmission of monkeypox, being observed here in the UK and now in several other countries around the world, is concerning,” he said.

    Source: Read Full Article