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From 8 June, Monkeypox has now been designated a notifiable disease in England. This means that all medical doctors and laboratories, are obliged to notify their local council or local health protection team if a patient is suspected to or has been proven to have the virus. Monkeypox cases passed the 300-mark this week in the UK, and the move to make it a notifiable disease in law “suggests a desire to be sure to have reporting from all sectors – public and private – and all parts of the NHS”, according to a London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) professor.

At least 1,260 cases of the disease have been reported globally, in countries where it is not endemic. During a briefing on Wednesday, the World Health Organization’s Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the window of opportunity to contain the outbreak is closing.

Without proper control measures, there is a risk of long-term, low-scale transmission ongoing in communities. There is no evidence that the virus is a sexually transmitted infection, rather it is spread through prolonged close contact between persons, and anyone can be infected. Most Monkeypox cases have occurred in people aged 20 to 49 years old.

BIVDA is ready to support our members to react to this situation in terms of information needs, guidance and resources. We would ask you to contact us if you are currently developing a test for Monkeypox, have already developed them, or are working on plans to do so.

Natalie Creaney