A FURTHER 18 monkeypox cases have been identified in the UK, bringing the total to 321.
The status of the virus has now been upgraded, as doctors have been urged to report infections to local councils.
Medics as the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said anyone can get monkeypox – particularly if you have had close contact, including sexual contact, with an individual with symptoms.
People who are gay or bisexual and men who have sex with men remain disproportionately affected.
There are currently 305 confirmed cases in England, 11 in Scotland, 2 in Northern Ireland and 3 in Wales.
Doctors have urged people to visit a sexual health clinic if you have a rash or blisters.
Read more on monkeypox
Monkeypox status upgraded as doctors urged to report infections to local councils
I had monkeypox and farcical authorities only tracked me AFTER I went on TV
You should also get checked if you have been in close contact, including sexual contact, with someone who has or might have monkeypox (even if they’ve not been tested yet) in the past 3 weeks.
The same applies if you have been to West or Central African in the past three weeks.
The update on infections today comes after doctors will now have to inform local councils and health protection agencies if cases are detected.
It means that monkeypox will be designated a notifiable disease under the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010.
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Other illnesses that also fall under this legislation include Covid-19, the Plague, acute meningitis, measles and smallpox.
Labs must also inform the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) if a case is detected in samples.
If monkeypox is suspected, medics must tell the correct authorities within three days or within 24 hours for urgent cases.
Wendi Shepherd, Monkeypox incident director at UKHSA, said: “Rapid diagnosis and reporting is the key to interrupting transmission and containing any further spread of Monkeypox.
"This new legislation will support us and our health partners to swiftly identify, treat and control the disease.
“It also supports us with the swift collection and analysis of data which enables us to detect possible outbreaks of the disease and trace close contacts rapidly, whilst offering vaccinations where appropriate to limit onward transmission.”
The signs of monkeypox you need to know
Experts at the UK Health Security Agency have said all Brits should be on the look out for key signs and symptoms.
The signs may include:
- Muscle aches
- Night sweats
- Cold-like symptoms, such as congestion and runny nose
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Swollen groin
Medics said that complications of the illness were documented as:
- low mood
- severe pain
Last night one Brit, who had been struck down with the infection, told how the 'farcial' health authorities only tried to trace him after he appeared on television.
James McFadzean, 35, was left feeling "rough" after contracting the virus on May 25 following a trip to Dubai.
But he told TalkTV's Tom Newton-Dunn how the UKHSA never responded to his phone calls – despite testing positive two weeks ago before cases exploded to over 300 in the UK.
The HR manager fumed: "Not until ten minutes ago when my story broke, all of a sudden they found my right phone number which seems farcical!
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"Every day I have been calling my clinic, the NHS Trust trying to get people to call me so we can do contact tracing."
The UKHSA says it made multiple attempts to contact James.
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