Africa tourism

Monkeypox warning to Scottish travelers as virus spreads to popular tourist sites

Those traveling abroad have been warned of the risk of monkeypox at busy tourist spots in Europe.

Scots have been warned that the disease has surprisingly popped up in 20 unlikely destinations, including Europe.

Outbreaks of the virus, considered deadly, have been discovered during popular festivals in countries such as Spain, Italy and Belgium.

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The spike in cases has been described by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “a highly unusual event”.

WHO European director Dr Hans Henri Kluge said crowded summer events such as festivals and parties could compound the problem and worsen the spread, reports the Sun.

Dr Kluge said: ‘I’m concerned transmission is accelerating as the cases currently being detected are among those engaging in sexual activity, and the symptoms are unfamiliar to many.

Asked about the impact of Britons on holidays or festivals, chief medical adviser Dr Susan Hopkins said people “need to be mindful” of the virus.

Dr Hopkins, from the UK Health and Safety Agency (UKHSA), told the BBC: “The risk to the general population [from monkeypox] remains extremely low.

“People need to be aware of this, and we really want clinicians to be aware of this.”



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The UK government has said it is not considering organizing a Cobra emergency committee for the monkeypox outbreak or putting travel bans in place.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “No, no such consideration.

“What we’re seeing right now is community transmission unrelated to travel.”

In the past, there were around eight confirmed cases of monkeypox in the UK, most linked to travel from West Africa.

But right now there are at least 57 cases in the UK, with the reason for contracting the virus being different from traditional means.

The UKHSA, however, allayed fears by saying the risk to the public is ‘low’ despite the fact that community transmission has already taken place in the UK.

Although experts predict that several more will be diagnosed in the near future.

Medical officials have said the virus appears to disproportionately affect gay and bisexual men.

As a result, men who have sex with men have been warned to look for new rashes that have appeared for no good reason.

It has been stated that monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease, but can be transmitted through skin contact during sexual intercourse.

Symptoms were reported as flu-like with blister-filled rashes spreading throughout the body.

Dr Hopkins responded to concerns after popular European holiday destinations were marked as areas that have seen an outbreak of the virus.

The WHO reported yesterday (Monday May 23) that there were around 100 cases in Europe and North America.

According to a WHO adviser, the last particular outbreak of monkeypox could be explained by sexual contact during two recent major events in Europe.



Meadow Festival
Festival attendees were warned of the spread of monkeypox.

They said a Pride festival in Spain, which brought together 80,000 people, would be linked to a variety of cases in Madrid, Tenerife and Italy.

On another occasion, a virus outbreak in Madrid’s Malasaña neighborhood was tracked to a sauna – which has since been closed.

A report created by the German government, to which the AP has had access, indicates that the transmission of the virus “appears mainly to come from sexual contact between men”.

Belgian officials said three confirmed cases came from a major fetish festival in the city of Antwerp, it emerged last week.

Former WHO emergency department chief Dr David Heymann has said the main theory behind the spread of the disease is that it was passed between men sleeping with men at parties in Spain and in Belgium.

Dr. Heymann told the AP that monkeypox is most often transmitted through skin-to-skin contact with the lesions of someone infected with the virus – he added that sexual intercourse appears to have made the problem worse.

The virus is most commonly found in central and western Africa, where it spreads from wild animals to humans.

The Financial Times said Europe’s infectious diseases agency planned to tell its members to set up a vaccination programme.

The vaccines would be created using an already existing smallpox vaccine that can protect against monkeypox at a rate as high as 85%.

Monkeypox and smallpox are similar in the symptoms they cause, however the latter was eradicated in the 1980s thanks to vaccines,

However, the UK government has said it is not looking to introduce ‘large scale’ vaccination programmes.

This is despite the fact that Sajid Javid, the current health secretary, said he was aiming to get around 25,000 smallpox vaccines.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said: “We have vaccines purchased in significant numbers.

“But given the nature of this and the way we know it is spreading, it is believed that there is no clinical requirement for this type of large-scale campaign.”

The WHO has announced that the spread of the virus is atypical, as it appears in countries where the virus does not traditionally spread.

Nevertheless, medical professionals are trying to understand the origin of the most recent cases and determine if the virus has evolved in any way.

However, there is no evidence or study that suggests monkeypox has mutated.

The WHO said the confirmed cases were the least severe cluster of monkeypox virus in West Africa so far.

MP Simon Clarke, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said it was not ‘a repeat of Covid’.

He said: “We’re certainly not in a position where I would worry the public anyway that it’s a repeat of Covid because it certainly doesn’t seem to be anywhere near the same platform of serious.”