Monkeypox ‘can spread up to FOUR DAYS before tell-tale rash shows up’

Monkeypox ‘can spread for up to FOUR DAYS before a telltale rash appears’

  • Researchers estimate that more than half of transmission occurs before symptoms
  • It means infections cannot be prevented by asking people to self-isolate after onset
  • The monkeypox outbreak in Britain has slowed since it broke out in the summer

Monkeypox patients can shed the virus for up to four days before symptoms appear, government scientists said today.

Experts from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) now estimate that more than half of the cases during the summer outbreak, which predominantly affected gay and bisexual men, occurred in this way.

In the first evidence of its kind, the researchers said presymptomatic transmission could be much more “substantial” than previously thought.

It raises “urgent” questions about current strategies to contain the virus causing the rash, infectious disease specialists said today.

Monkeypox can spread for up to four days before a telltale rash first appears, a UK Health Security Agency study said today.

Britain's monkeypox outbreak has slowed since it broke out in the summer, with 3,701 cases recorded between May 6 and October 31 in the country.

Britain’s monkeypox outbreak has slowed since it broke out in the summer, with 3,701 cases recorded between May 6 and October 31 in the country.

Britain’s monkeypox outbreak, which prompted warnings of another pandemic, has slowed since it broke out in the summer. Before this year, cases were generally only detected in West Africa.

Some 3,701 cases have been recorded since May, when it began. Similar outbreaks have emerged in Western Europe and the United States.

While the virus can infect anyone, the vast majority of cases have been in gay and bisexual men.

Cases peaked at more than 60 a day in mid-July but have been falling since then, with fewer than 15 cases a day on average in early September.

Experts attribute the drop to the UK’s vaccine strategy, in which almost 50,000 gay and bisexual men and health workers at risk were targeted.

Second doses of smallpox vaccine began to be distributed to Britons most at risk of monkeypox in September.

All close contacts of monkeypox patients are told to self-isolate for up to 21 days.

The studio, in British medical journalincluded 2746 people who tested positive for monkeypox in the UK.

The patients had an average age of 37.8 years and 95 percent were gay or bisexual men. They were found with routine surveillance and contact tracing questionnaires.

The researchers looked at the time from when symptoms first occurred in the first patient to when symptoms developed in a known contact.

They also looked at the incubation period, the time from exposure to the virus to the onset of symptoms.

The team found that it took up to 7.8 days for symptoms to appear after a patient was first exposed.

But many contacts became infected before symptoms began to appear in the initial case.

Writing in the journal, they said: “Four days was the maximum time transmission was detected before symptoms manifested.”

Independent experts described the results as “compelling” and said they raise “urgent questions”.

Dr. Boghuma Kabisen Titanji, an assistant professor of medicine at Emory University in Atlanta, said: “What proportion of cases are asymptomatic and how much do these cases contribute to seeding new chains of transmission? These are urgent questions that need answers.”

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