Britain is currently experiencing its biggest ever outbreak of monkeypox, with seven known cases.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) announced on Monday that a cluster of four cases had been reported in England and they were not linked to the three other cases.
Six of these are in London, and one is in the North East, with patients either self-isolating at home or being treated in specialist infectious disease wards at Guy’s and St Thomas, St Mary’s Hospital, the Royal Free Hospital or the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
It is rare for the virus to be seen in Britain and most previous cases on our shores have been linked to travel to other parts of the world where it is more prevalent, particularly West Africa.
However, there is now evidence the virus is spreading in the community as none of the four most recent patients were linked to the other cases or had travelled recently.
The first case was identified in London on May 7 in a patient who had recently returned from Nigeria; the second and third cases lived together in London and were announced a week later on the 14th; and the most recent batch of four (three in London and one in the North East) were revealed on Tuesday.