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Monkeypox: UK Health Security Agency issues fresh advice ahead of cases announcement

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has issued new advice on the Monkeypox outbreak as it prepares to announce more cases of the virus on Monday (May 23).

Anyone who has been in close contact with someone suffering from virus is now being asked to self-isolate for 21 days. The advice applies to people who have had “unprotected direct contact or high-risk environmental contact”, the agency said.

This isolation period includes no travel, providing details for contact tracing and avoiding direct contact with immunosuppressed people, pregnant women and children under 12. Those who are considered at high risk of having caught monkeypox may have had household contact, sexual contact, or have changed an infected person’s bedding without wearing appropriate PPE.

There have been 20 cases in the UK confirmed so far, according to UKHSA. Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser for UKHSA, has said the virus is spreading through community transmission. The disease, first discovered in monkeys, can be transmitted from person to person through close physical contact, including sexual intercourse, and is caused by the monkeypox virus.

Dr Hopkins said that cases are predominantly being identified in individuals who self-identify as gay or bisexual or men who have sex with other men. “We will be releasing updated numbers tomorrow – over-the-weekend figures," she told BBC One's Sunday Morning. “We are detecting more cases on a daily basis and I’d like to thank all of those people who are coming forward for testing to sexual health clinics, to the GPs and emergency department.”

When asked whether community transmission has been seen in the UK, Dr Hopkins responded: “Absolutely, we are finding cases that have no identified contact with an

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