Monkeypox latest news and updates | May 19th
Monkeypox outbreak: live updates
Monkeypox outbreak: headlines
- Monkeypox detected in UK, Spain, Portugal, France, Canada and US
- nine confirmed cases in England
- seven cases confirmed in Spain
- five confirmed cases in Portugal
- one confirmed US case of monkeypox, in Massachusetts
- US case "poses no risk to the public", Massachusetts Department of Health says
- Potential monkeypox case in Australia being investigated
Useful information on monkeypox
First potential case of monkeypox in Australia identified
Another possible case of the rare disease monkeypox has been indentified, this time in an Australian man. He recently returned to New South Wales from Europe where over 20 infections have been confirmed. He is undergoing testing after his doctor found his symptoms to be similar to that of monkeypox.
US orders millions of monkeypox vaccine doses
After a case of monkeypox was confirmed in Maassachusetts, the US ordered $119 million in additional vaccine doses. The Jynneos vaccine, created by Bavarian Nordic, has been approved for use in the US since 2015.
The CDC says that the jab is 85 percent effective in preventing infection, and may prevent or reduce symptoms if received after an individual has been infected according to experts. The recent purchase will add 13 million doses to the nation's supply.
Possible case of monkeypox in NYC
NYC Health and Hospitals reported on Thursday that it was investigating a suspected case of monkeypox in New York City. The patient is being monitored at Bellevue Hospital. Tests were being conducted and will be sent to authorities at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention if positive.
Five types of orthopoxvirus cause illness in humans
There are five types of orthopoxvirus that can cause illness in humans - smallpox, cowpox, horsepox, camelpox and monkeypox. Smallpox, which killed 300 million people in the 20th century alone, was erradicated globally by 1977 following a 14-year, mass vaccination program. The last known case of smallpox was reported and contained in Somalia in 1977.
Montreal investigating 17 cases of suspected monkeypox
Montreal public health officials said on Thursday they are investigating 17 suspected cases of monkeypox virus infections, adding to the growing number of cases of the rare virus reported globally.
Several countries including Portugal, Spain and France have reported cases of monkeypox in recent weeks, with one US case identified by Massachusetts public health officials on Wednesday in a man who had recently traveled to the Canadian province of Quebec.
Health officials in Quebec's largest city told reporters there was a link between the US case of monkeypox in Massachusetts and a few of the suspected cases in the Montreal region.
Dr. Mylene Drouin, public health director of Montreal, said the cases are not considered severe and are mainly among men who have had sexual relations with men, between 30 to 55 years old. While public health officials hope to have laboratory confirmation by the weekend, Drouin said there is a good chance cases are due to monkeypox.
"The more that we see the evolution of what's happening around the world, and the link that we have with the case in the US, we suspect that it's a strong possibility," she said.
Dr. Genevieve Bergeron, a medical officer for health emergencies and infectious diseases, said the first suspected case was reported on 12 May.
France says first suspected case of monkeypox detected in Paris region
A first suspected case of the monkeypox virus on French territory has been detected in the Paris/Ile-de-France region, the French Health Ministry said on Thursday, amid signs of the virus' spreading around the world.
Britain offers smallpox vaccine to combat monkeypox
Several monkeypox cases in Britain has prompted authorities to offer a smallpox vaccine to some healthcare workers and others who may have been exposed, as a handful more cases were confirmed in parts of Europe.
Monkeypox is a usually mild viral illness, characterised by symptoms of fever as well as a distinctive bumpy rash. There are two main strains: the Congo strain, which is more severe – with up to 10% mortality – and the West African strain, which has a fatality rate of about 1%.
In the United Kingdom, nine cases of the West African strain have been reported so far.
There isn't a specific vaccine for monkeypox, but a smallpox vaccine does offer some protection, a UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) spokesperson said.
Data shows that vaccines that were used to eradicate smallpox are up to 85% effective against monkeypox, according to the World Health Organisation.
"Those who have required the vaccine have been offered it," the UKHSA spokesperson added, without disclosing specifics on how many people have been vaccinated so far.
The US has declared its first case of monkeypox. While the number of confirmed cases remains small, just one person, people can be forgiven for being worried about diseases as Covid-19 still plays a large role in peoples lives. What are the symptoms of monkeypox? Oliver Povey explains what to look out for.
Suspected monkeypox case on Spain's Canary Islands
The government of Spain's Canary Islands says a suspected case of monkeypox has been detected in the region.
The Canary Islands’ health ministry describes the patient as “a young male with symptoms of the illness, who is chiefly suffering from fever and skin lesions”.
“The patient is progressing well and […] has not had to be hospitalised”, the body also said.
AS USA's Oli Povey has put together this monkeypox explainer, which takes a look at its symptoms, how easy it is to catch, and how deadly it is.
Spain set to buy smallpox vaccine doses to combat monkeypox
Spain’s health ministry is preparing to buy “thousands of doses” of a smallpox vaccine to battle the outbreak of monkeypox in the country, the Spanish newspaper El País has reported.
El País says the vaccine would not be for use on the general population, but rather would be administered to contacts of confirmed cases.
“There is enough evidence to show the vaccine is safe and effective [when used against monkeypox], given they are two viruses from the same family,” Spanish government sources told El País.
Five Portuguese cases all male and stable - health service
Portugal's National Health Service (SNS) says the five confirmed monkeypox cases in the country are all in the Lisbon and Tagus Valley area. "The cases, mostly young, and all male, are stable, presenting ulcerative lesions," the SNS said on Wednesday.
It added: "Individuals with ulcerative lesions, rash, palpable lymph nodes, possibly accompanied by fever, chills, headache, muscle pain and tiredness, should seek medical advice."
Seven confirmed cases in Spain - country's health minister
Spain’s health minister, Carolina Darias, has told an interview with the TV channel La Sexta that there are now seven confirmed cases of monkeypox in Spain. There are a further 24 suspected cases in the country. All are in the Spanish capital, Madrid.
CDC level of concern "very different than what we typically think of from monkeypox"
Speaking on Tuesday, before a US case of monkeypox was confirmed in Massachusetts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Jennifer McQuiston said the degree of concern at the body is “very different” than it normally is in relation to the illness.
“We do have a level of concern that this is very different than what we typically think of from monkeypox,” McQuiston told an interview with Stat News. “And I think we have some concern that there could be spread outside the UK associated with this.”
“You have two clusters [in the UK] that have no link to travel or to other people who are known to be associated with a recognized outbreak. It suggests that there are unknown chains of transmission happening,” McQuiston said. “If there appears to be unknown chains of transmission, it just puts us on alert to be thinking: Could this be spreading outside the UK?”
Discussing the UK Health and Security Agency’s disclosure of the fact that cases in England have chiefly been among gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men, McQuiston said: “There’s a lot of travel between the UK and the United States and other global areas. So I think our concern is that given that you do have four cases among men who have sex with men, that we probably need to be thinking about messaging to our STI clinics … about what to be on the lookout for, what to be alert for.”
Monkeypox cases chiefly among gay or bisexual men - UKHSA
In its latest update on the monkeypox outbreak in England on Wednesday, the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) reported two more confirmed cases of the illness, taking the country’s total cases to nine.
“The 2 latest cases have no travel links to a country where monkeypox is endemic, so it is possible they acquired the infection through community transmission,” the UKHSA said.
The body added that recent confirmed cases of the illness are “predominantly in gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men (MSM)”.
“The virus spreads through close contact and UKHSA is advising individuals, particularly those who are gay, bisexual or MSM, to be alert to any unusual rashes or lesions on any part of their body, especially their genitalia, and to contact a sexual health service if they have concerns,” the UKHSA said.
“Monkeypox has not previously been described as a sexually transmitted infection, though it can be passed on by direct contact during sex. It can also be passed on through other close contact with a person who has monkeypox or contact with clothing or linens used by a person who has monkeypox.”
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sufferers of monkeypox initially experience:
- muscle aches
- swollen lymph nodes
After a period normally lasting between one and three days, patients then develop a rash, which usually begins on the face and then spreads to other areas of the body.
Per the World Health Organization (WHO), the rash “evolves sequentially from macules (lesions with a flat base) to papules (slightly raised firm lesions), vesicles (lesions filled with clear fluid), pustules (lesions filled with yellowish fluid), and crusts which dry up and fall off”.
The WHO adds that the number of lesions varies from “a few to several thousand”.
Monkeypox normally lasts for about two to four weeks, with the CDC placing its mortality rate at up to one in 10.
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a viral infection first discovered in monkeys in the late 1950s - hence the name. The first human case was recorded in 1970, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Monkeypox occurs chiefly in west and central African countries, and has symptoms “similar to but milder than the symptoms of smallpox”, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says.
According to the World Health Organization, monkeypox is chiefly transmitted “from direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or cutaneous or mucosal lesions of infected animals”.
The WHO describes transmission of monkeypox between humans as “relatively limited”, noting that the longest documented chain of person-to-person transmission is six people.
“Infection can result from close contact with respiratory secretions, skin lesions of an infected person or recently contaminated objects,” the body says. “Transmission via droplet respiratory particles usually requires prolonged face-to-face contact, which puts health workers and household members of active cases at greater risk.”
Here is our latest full report on the growing concern over the monkeypox outbreak, courtesy of AS USA's Calum Roche.
Massachusetts Department of Health confirms US monkeypox case
As of Wednesday, England, Spain and Portugal had reported nine, 23 and five suspected or confirmed cases of monkeypox, respectively. In the US, meanwhile, the Massachusetts Department of Health has confirmed one case of monkeypox in a man who recently travelled to Canada. "The case poses no risk to the public, and the individual is hospitalized and in good condition," the body said.
Monkeypox outbreak, live updates: welcome
Hello and welcome to our live coverage on the outbreak of monkeypox, of which just under 40 confirmed or suspected cases have been reported across the United Kingdom, Spain and Portugal. One case has also been confirmed in the United States.