Monkeypox: More than half of infections in male gay community, new UKHSA data shows | UK News

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More than half of confirmed cases of monkeypox in England have occurred in gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men, according to new data.

Of 190 confirmed cases identified by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) from May 6 to 31, 183 were in England, four in Scotland, two in Northern Ireland and one in Wales.

The results show that 86% of cases in England involve London residents and only two were women.

Most cases of monkeypox have occurred in people between the ages of 20 and 49.

111 cases are men known to be gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men, the agency said.

Investigations to date have identified links to gay bars, saunas and the use of dating apps in the UK and overseas, the UKHSA said.

Professor Kevin Fenton, Regional Director of Public Health London, said: “Monkey pox can affect anyone, but we know that many of the most recent diagnoses are in gay, bisexual and other men with sex with men, many of whom live in or have connections to London.

“We remind everyone with symptoms of monkeypox, and gay and bisexual men in particular, to be particularly aware and seek advice immediately by calling NHS 111 or their local sexual health clinic if they have any concerns.

“As with any new outbreak, the risk of stigma and uncertainty is great. This is why we are working side by side with NHS, sexual health, voluntary sector organizations in London to share accurate information about Monkeypox, particularly for individuals and groups at increased risk through representative voices.”

In a separate announcement, the UKHSA gave the most recent number of infections at 188 in England, 5 cases in Scotland, 2 in Northern Ireland and 1 in Wales, bringing the UK total to 196.

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