New cases of monkeypox appear to be reducing, particularly in London, with just 20 people a day becoming infected, UK health officials say.
In a report on the virus, they say the epidemic in London has declined since mid-July and is now equivalent to the rest of the UK. The news is welcome given UK vaccine supplies are set to run out until a new shipment arrives in September.
New cases are being reported in all regions of the UK, although the spread appears to be slowing.
Dr Meera Chand, director of clinical and emerging infections at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said: “We ask that everyone checks themselves for monkeypox symptoms, including rashes and blisters, particularly if you have had new sexual partners recently – in the UK or abroad.
“If you are eligible for a vaccine, please wait to be called forward by the NHS and you will receive one as soon as supply is available in your area. We are working with the manufacturer to expedite delivery as quickly as possible.”
A total of 3,195 people have had monkeypox in the UK since the epidemic started in May, with most cases seen in gay and bisexual men. However, anyone who comes into close contact with someone who has monkeypox could potentially get the virus.
Around 35,000 cases have now been confirmed around the world, with most in Europe and North and South America. There have been 12 deaths linked to the outbreak, which was declared a global public health emergency by the World Health Organization in mid-July.
The first case of human-to-dog transmission of monkeypox occurred in Paris recently, although health experts said the event was not unexpected.