Five confirmed cases of monkeypox in East of England

Norwich city centre was full of Christmas shoppers. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

New data has revealed there are currently five confirmed cases of monkeypox in the East of England. - Credit: Archant

There are five confirmed cases of monkeypox in the East of England.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has published new details about the outbreak of monkeypox in the UK with data up to May 30.

There is now a total of 183 confirmed cases in England, including five in the east. 

But the specific location of cases in the region is unknown.

Some 86pc of England’s cases are in London residents and only two were women.

111 cases are known to be gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men (GBMSM). ​

Most monkeypox cases have also occurred in people aged 20 to 49 years old (87pc).  

Most Read

Investigations to date have identified links to gay bars, saunas and the use of dating apps in the UK and abroad.  

But currently, no single factor or exposure that links the cases has been identified. 

The LGBT Consortium and Pride organisers across the UK have been encouraged to help share public health messaging over the next few weeks. 

Dr Meera Chand, director of clinical and emerging infections at UKHSA, said: “We are working to break chains of transmission, including by contact tracing and vaccination.

"We are grateful to everyone who has come forward for testing and it is extremely important that everyone continues to be aware of the symptoms and to seek advice if they have concerns. 

“We are reminding people to look out for new spots, ulcers or blisters on any part of their body.

"If anyone suspects they might have monkeypox, particularly if they have recently had a new sexual partner, they should limit their contact with others and contact NHS 111 or their local sexual health service as soon as possible, though please phone ahead before attending in person.” 

UKHSA health protection teams are contacting people who may be high-risk contacts of confirmed cases.  

These contacts will be risk assessed and if they remain well, will be advised to isolate at home for up to 21 days.   

In addition to isolating, UKHSA is offering the Imvanex vaccine to people who have had contact, or may have contact with a confirmed case of monkeypox to reduce the risk of infection and severe illness. 

For more information about symptoms and what to do if you’re concerned, visit nhs.uk/monkeypox.