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Urgent Call For Volunteer Virologists As Monkey Pox Outbreak Spreads

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Urgent Call For Volunteer Virologists As Monkey Pox Outbreak Spreads

Public health officials have sent out an “urgent” call to consultant virologists for volunteers to help curb the “rapidly scaling up” Monkey Pox response.

In an email on Friday morning, the UK Health Security Agency’s head of laboratory business and operations, Louise Forster, said: “We are looking for regional ID, We are looking for regional ID, microbiology, or virology consultants to join the Monkey Pox clinical cell.

Urgent Call For Volunteer Virologists As Monkey Pox Outbreak Spreads

As you are aware this is a national enhanced incident with a very high priority response, which is rapidly scaling up and we urgently need as many volunteers as possible.”

Volunteers would join a rota acting as a point of contact for clinical advice about Monkey Pox, and to call clinicians about positive results, according to the email.

The news comes as the World Health Organization has allegedly called an emergency meeting in response to the rising number of Monkey Pox cases globally.

On Friday UKHSA confirmed 11 further cases, bringing the total up to 20. The chief medical officer for the organization, Dr. Sue Hopkins has said more cases are likely to be identified in the UK.

Dr. Michael Head a senior research fellow in Global Health at the University of Southampton, said in response to the rising UK cases: “The monkeypox outbreak continues to escalate, and is undoubtedly worrying. The extent of the community transmission of monkeypox, being observed here in the UK and now in several other countries around the world, is concerning.

“However, it is important to highlight that whilst it is understandable to compare monkeypox with Covid, it’s important to remember they are two different viruses with their characteristics. A big monkeypox outbreak like this is still a very different situation to a Covid pandemic.”

He said. “We may at some point see the use of the smallpox vaccine recommended for close contacts, as part of a ‘ring vaccination approach. For example, this was used successfully during an Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo in 2018/19, where close contacts were vaccinated as part of the public health response.”

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