No more monkeypox cases: Britain buys smallpox vaccine

More and more cases of monkeypox
Britain buys smallpox vaccine

Monkeypox has long been considered extinct. But now more and more cases of the disease have been recorded in Britain in recent weeks. To protect risk groups, the British health authority buys a special vaccine.

Following mounting evidence of monkeypox infection, Britain reportedly purchased a smallpox vaccine, which offered some protection against the disease. The BBC reported, citing the UK government. Initially, it was unclear how many vaccines were purchased and who should be vaccinated with. A UK health authority spokeswoman said the vaccine should be offered to people at high risk of infection. The risk to the general population remains very low, he said.

A total of 20 cases of monkeypox have been recorded in the UK in recent weeks. Although the smallpox vaccine is not specifically tailored to the monkeypox virus, it should provide some protection – especially against more serious illnesses. Routine smallpox vaccination in Britain was phased out in the 1970s, according to the BBC, when the disease was declared eradicated in the country.

Symptoms after sexual contact

More recently, cases had been discovered in several other countries such as Spain, France, Sweden, Australia and the United States, and Germany had already reported its first detection. So far, the majority or perhaps even all of the cases have involved men, and in many cases they are said to have had sexual contact with men.

The World Health Organization (WHO) had called for rigorous monitoring of all contacts of those affected. Clinics and the public should be made aware of the symptoms. According to the WHO, a vaccination recommendation only applies to certain risk groups such as laboratory personnel and certain first responders. However, this will be verified in due course, he said on request. A new smallpox and monkeypox vaccine has also been approved but is not yet widely available beyond national stockpiles.

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