Index – Science – Smallpox, a new and rare disease in the UK, can be sexually transmitted

in the UK, smallpox There has never been an outbreak of the disease before and there is a lack of knowledge about the spread of the disease. Health officials are investigating in London and the North East of England identified Four new cases None of them have a known relationship with the British Health Security Agency (UKHSA) With three previous infections detected by

Because it is usually a mild, self-limiting viral disease that does not spread easily to humans, the UKHSA says the risk to the UK population is low. does not depend on. Sudden emergence of cases and uncertainty about the spread of the virus But It was a nuisance to scientists, and sexual contact is seen as a potential route of transmission.

Smallpox outbreak is unprecedented in the UK and requires urgent public health action

said Jamie Whitworth, professor of international public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The disease can be transmitted through sexual contact

Michael Head, senior researcher in global health at the University of Southampton, said:

Currently, our knowledge is incomplete, and contact research and public health testing by UKHSA will undoubtedly reveal more about, for example, how the infection spreads. However, it would be very unusual to experience more than a few cases in any outbreak. There will be no Covid-like spreads.

Of the seven cases in the current outbreak, four are gay or bisexual, which strongly suggest sexual transmission, according to Matthew Prochazka, a UK infectious disease epidemiologist who is leading the agency’s investigation.

This is also indicated by the fact that joint contacts were identified in only two of the last four cases

– He wrote on Twitter, adding that it was strange that people appeared to have contracted the infection through sexual contact, as “this is a new route of transmission” that had not been previously reported in the UK.

Senior Medical Adviser Susan Hopkins said in a statement issued by UKHSA:

Gay and bisexual men in particular are urged to be aware of unusual rashes or lesions and to contact sexual health services immediately.

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