Gay men could be offered monkeypox vaccine in targeted rollout

Gay men could be offered monkeypox vaccine in targeted rollout
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Aden-Jay Wood

By Aden-Jay Wood

Published: 20/05/2022

- 11:59

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 11:21

Cases have already been found in the UK, US, Spain and Portugal

Gay men could be offered a vaccination which protects them against monkeypox.

Monkeypox has begun to spread across the UK, with nine Brits already being diagnosed with the virus.

There have also been cases found in the US, Spain and Portugal.

FILE PHOTO: An image created during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox, which took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1996 to 1997, shows the arms and torso of a patient with skin lesions due to monkeypox, in this undated image obtained by Reuters on May 18, 2022. CDC/Brian W.J. Mahy/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY./File Photo
Gay men could be offered a monkeypox vaccine

Nine Brits have already being diagnosed with the virus
Nine Brits have already being diagnosed with the virus

Of the nine cases in the UK, six have been found in gay or bisexual men which, according to an infectious disease epidemiologist Mateo Prochazka, means it's likely the virus is "spread in sexual networks".

And with the number of cases expected to rise further in the coming days, gay men could be offered a jab to reduce the risk of catching it, according to MailOnline.

Infectious disease expert at the University of East Anglia, professor Paul Hunter said he “could see a role” for such a vaccine “if this isn’t brought under control quickly".

It comes after the Department of Health are believed to be stockpiling thousands of monkeypox vaccines.

Drugs and vaccines aimed at combating smallpox can be repurposed to fight monkeypox, as the two viruses are very similar.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is "working with companies to speedily bring forward suitable treatments" for the virus, they told the MailOnline.

Symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

Rashes can emerge, which often start on the face before spreading to other areas of the body such as the genitals.

The rash can appear similar to sort of sores present on someone with chickenpox. The rash eventually forms a scab and drops off.

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