Four males in the UK have been diagnosed with monkeypox, raising the total number of cases in the latest outbreak to seven.
Gay and bisexual men have been told to look out for an 'unusual rash.'
After MailOnline reported the news earlier today, health officials confirmed that all four new patients are gay or bisexual men who were infected in London and had no travel connections to Africa.
Two people are familiar with each other but have no relationship to any of the other cases, indicating that the virus is spreading for the first time in the community.
Nurses and doctors should be on the lookout for patients who have developed a new rash.
Monkeypox is often mistaken for more common rash illnesses like chickenpox, measles, scabies, and syphilis, which makes it difficult to diagnose early.
Dr. Susan Hopkins, the chief medical adviser at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said: 'This is rare and unusual.
'UKHSA is rapidly investigating the source of these infections because the evidence suggests that there may be transmission of the monkeypox virus in the community, spread by close contact.
'We are particularly urging men who are gay and bisexual to be aware of any unusual rashes or lesions and to contact a sexual health service without delay.'
All seven UK cases have tested positive for the West African strain of the virus, which is believed to be milder than other versions.
Exactly how the new patients acquired the infection 'remains under urgent investigation', the UKHSA said.
Be first to comment