LONDON (AP) — British health officials say there have now been 1,735 confirmed cases of monkeypox and that three-quarters of those cases are in London, according to data released on Tuesday.
In a review of the outbreak published last week, Britain’s Health Security Agency said there were “no signs of a decline” in the monkeypox epidemic and that the virus “continues to be transmitted primarily in interconnected sexual networks of gay, bisexual, or men who have sex with men.”
The agency said 97% of cases fell in that category and that there was no evidence of sustained transmission beyond that.
Scientists warn that anyone who is in close physical contact with someone who has monkeypox or their clothing or bedsheets is at risk of infection, regardless of their sexual orientation.
British scientists estimate the outbreak is doubling in size about every two weeks and said it’s likely cases are being undercounted.
They said that in nearly 80% of cases, there is no information about whether or not the person had contact with a confirmed case, meaning the virus is spreading undetected.
Scientists have noted that people with unusual symptoms, including only a single lesion, have been detected in the outbreak and say there have also been reports elsewhere of people with no symptoms carrying monkeypox.
About 10% of infected people in the United Kingdom have been hospitalised, but there have been no deaths reported.
British experts said the virus has been spreading through close or sexual contact and that there has been no evidence of airborne transmission.