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Should police be worried about Monkeypox?



The World Health Organisation has declared the current outbreak of Monkeypox a global health emergency of international concern. This is because numbers of cases are rising in countries where the virus is not endemic.

Information about Monkeypox can be found on the WHO website and from the NHS. Data from the UKHSA indicates that cases in the UK continue to rise, with most cases in the London area. It is also clear that cases are predominantly amongst men who have sex with men. This does not mean that this is a sexually-transmitted disease. However, close contact is required for the virus to be transmitted.

Advice for police about Monkeypox can be found on the Oscar Kilo website.

Transmission of Monkeypox virus is unlike COVID-19 in that it is not highly transmissible. However, the precautions against acquiring infection mirror those for COVID-19. Avoid prolonged close contact with someone who has, or might have, Monkeypox. Wear suitable personal protective equipment. Observe sensible hand hygiene.

The police is a diverse population and includes men who have sex with men. Awareness of the existence of the virus in the UK and taking sensible precautions should ensure that this outbreak is contained. If symptoms do occur, sufferers are advised to consult a GP or sexual health clinic. People who have, or may have the infection, should self-isolate. The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have advised that suffers should not have contact with household pets, although the risk of transmission to pets is said to be low.

People infected with Monkeypox in the UK will usually suffer a relatively mild self-limiting illness. Clinical care is aimed at alleviating symptoms and managing complications. Close contacts of someone diagnosed with Monkeypox will be offered vaccination with a safe smallpox vaccine - Imvanex.

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