From monkeypox to polio, here's why so many viruses are attacking the UK - The Telegraph

From monkeypox to polio, here's why so many viruses are attacking the UK - The Telegraph

From monkeypox to polio, here's why so many viruses are attacking the UK - The Telegraph
Jun 26, 2022 1 min, 30 secs

Aside from Covid, the UK detected a deadly strain of H5 bird flu in January, Lassa fever in February, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever in March and monkeypox in May. .

“There’s a name for what we’re seeing at the moment in the UK and elsewhere, it’s called chatter,” said Prof Mark Woolhouse, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh.

Some are linked to heightened awareness of infectious disease post-Covid and strengthened surveillance systems but experts – including America’s Prof Anthony Fauci – have warned of  a “new pandemic era”. .

“The early 21st century has been a perfect storm for emerging infectious diseases, and everything is pointing towards the likelihood of more and more outbreaks,” said Prof Woolhouse.

“People going from this country to other countries and back is probably the biggest driver of disease importations,” said Prof Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia. .

In February, a baby died from Lassa fever in hospital in Bedfordshire, one of three people to contract the haemorrhagic virus while in West Africa

A month later, a woman with a recent travel history to Asia was diagnosed with Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, a related tick-borne virus with a fatality rate as high as 40 per cent. 

The rapid worldwide spread of monkeypox –  roughly 3,700 confirmed and suspected cases have now been reported outside endemic countries – is also linked to travel. 

The first known case in the UK, where 813 cases have been reported, was linked to Nigeria

Many cases have since been linked to recent raves, sex parties and adult saunas across Europe. 

“People travelling more freely again [post-Covid] – including for those in various sexual networks – may have boosted the ability of this virus to spread among a larger global population,” said Dr Julian Tang, clinical virologist at the University of Leicester. 

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