Monkeypox is a rare infection usually spread by wild animals in central or west Africa. The chances of contracting it in the UK are minimal and it rarely spreads between people, although it is possible.
You can be infected by an animal bite or if you come into contact with an animal’s blood or bodily fluids.
It may be possible to catch monkeypox by eating meat from an infected animal that has not been cooked properly.
Mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions (left) and immature, spherical virions (right) obtained from a human skin sample associated with the 2003 prairie dog epidemic.
Monkeypox cases in France
A total of 330 people have tested positive since the first case was determined on May 20, mainly men who have homosexual relations. The main concern of NGOs and doctors is to inform without stigmatizing.
Towards the end of May, Alexandre, 37, and his partner noticed the appearance of small pimples, for one on the back, for the other on the hands. Both of them, from the Paris region, didn’t yet know that they had caught monkeypox, a disease that had never before been recorded on French soil, although it has been indigenous ous since the 1970s in a dozen African countries. It was an e-mail sent by the organizers of a gay festival in Belgium, where they had been earlier in the month, that cause them to call 15 (the French phone number dedicated to health emergency): Several cases of the disease, which is transmitted mainly through prolonged contact, had been detected among the event’s participants.
They were then referred to the infectious and tropical diseases department of the Bichat Hospital in Paris, which is one of the four reference healthcare facilities for epidemic and biological risk in the Paris region (out of the 16 in the country). A sample followed by a PCR confirmed the diagnosis. They were immediately placed in isolation for three weeks until their scabs fell off and they were no longer contagious. A total of 330 people have tested positive for the monkeypox virus in the country since the first case was detected on May 20, as revealed by a situation update from Sante Publique France published on June 23. Ile-de-France is the main region affected by the epidemic, totaling 68% of cases nationwide, followed by Occitanie (22 cases) and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (21 cases).