UK Government Warns Gay Men To Be ‘Alert’ For New African ‘Monkeypox’

(Photo by SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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The government of the United Kingdom is warning homosexual men in particular to be wary of a new outbreak of monkeypox, it said in a statement Friday.

The U.K. Health Security Agency (UKHSA) detected 11 new cases of monkeypox in England Friday, bringing the total number of known cases to 20. The agency said a “notable” share of the cases detected so far have been within the LGBT community, so it is warning that community to be “alert.”

“A notable proportion of recent cases in the UK and Europe have been found in gay and bisexual men so we are particularly encouraging them to be alert to the symptoms and seek help if concerned,” UKSHA Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Susan Hopkins said.

Symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, exhaustion and a rash. The rash often begins on the face before progressing to the rest of the body, including the genitals, according to the UKSHA. (RELATED: COVID-19 Death Toll May Actually Be Triple What We Thought, WHO Says)

The pox is not believed to spread easily between humans, but can be transmitted by close contact with an infected individual or linens they have touched, the agency said. Individuals who have an odd rash on their genitals are being told to contact the National Health Service or a sexual health service.