Monkeypox: Dr Chris outlines the main symptoms
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The UK Health Security Agency is already releasing daily updates on the cases of the virus through press releases, in a bid to keep the public notified of the rapidly evolving situation. But now they are said to be taking things one step further.
The Covid-dashboard took health authorities several weeks to develop and was finally launched in Spring 2020 after the virus had been rampaging across the country.
Since then, this tracker formed a critical aspect of the UK's pandemic response, ensuring that both health officials and the public are kept in the loop about the serious threat the virus poses.
Building on the success of the Covid dashboard, the UKHSA officials were able to quickly set up a similar product to study the Monkeypox virus.
Monkeypox is a virus that is usually found in Central and Western Africa and can be transmitted by contact and droplet exposure via exhaled large droplets.
The UK is working on a new dashboard (Image: GETTY)
UK is facing a 'significant rise' in Monkeypox cases over next week (Image: CDC/ GETTY)
This virus, which causes rashes and lesions to develop on the infected patients, has begun spreading across the UK, with the latest figures taking the total number of infected in the country to 80.
The new Covid-like dashboard likely signals a return to the intense scrutiny of daily cases of newly infected people, with analysis of infection times, hospital admissions, trends of the virus, and other data, studied by professionals and amateur sleuths.
It is unclear when the monkeypox dashboard will be completed, however, it is expected to launch a lot faster than the tracker built for Covid.
So far, 77 of the 80 cases have been detected in England, with one case each in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
What is Monkeypox? (Image: Express)
UKHSA is also expected to deliver official guidance over the coming days on what to do if people develop symptoms of Monkeypox, or believe that they have been exposed to the virus.
People who are infected right now are sent to quarantine, either at home or in a specialist infectious disease ward in a hospital, after a PCR test confirms the infection.
Meanwhile, officials then track down close contacts and offer them shots of a vaccine that can prevent infection if administered a few days after being exposed.
The UK currently has about 23,000 doses of the Bavarian Nordic Imvanex jab, which is specifically designed to combat smallpox, but has also shown to be effective against monkeypox.
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Monkeypox causes lesions on the skin (Image: CDC/GETTY)
Each dose of the vaccine costs around £5, with a total of two doses required four weeks apart to ensure maximum protection.
The vaccine needs to be given soon after being exposed to the virus in order to modify the infection.
Because monkeypox has a three week incubation period, by the time a person is symptomatic, the vaccine is rendered useless.
Experts believe that the best way to combat the virus is to innoculate the close contacts of the people who have detected positive for monkeypox, a process known as ring vaccination.
This is a breaking story. More to follow.
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