Second monkeypox case confirmed in Ireland

A second case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Ireland.
Second monkeypox case confirmed in Ireland

James Cox

A second case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Ireland.

In a statement last night, the HSE said public health teams are carrying out contact tracing for both cases identified here.

The first case of monkeypox was confirmed in Ireland last Friday in the east of the country.

The HSE said the cases here were not unexpected, considering the presence of the virus in the UK and many European countries.

A statement read: “Monkeypox spreads through close contact, including contact with the skin rash of someone with monkeypox. People who closely interact with someone who is infectious are at greater risk for infection: this includes household members, sexual partners and healthcare workers. The risk of spread within the community in general, is very low.”

Yesterday a further 71 cases were identified in England - bringing the confirmed UK total to 179.

While the World Health Organisation (WHO) is closely monitoring the spread of the disease, the organisation has said it is unlikely monkeypox will become a pandemic.

The WHO is considering whether the outbreak should be assessed as a "potential public health emergency of international concern" or PHEIC. Such a declaration, as was done for Covid-19 and Ebola, would help accelerate research and funding to contain the disease.

Asked whether this monkeypox outbreak has the potential to grow into a pandemic, Rosamund Lewis, technical lead for monkeypox from the WHO Health Emergencies Programme said: "We don't know, but we don't think so."

"At the moment, we are not concerned of a global pandemic," she added.

The HSE chief executive has said the health service is prepared if there is an outbreak of monkeypox here.

Paul Reid said the plans to deal with any outbreak here are quite advanced.

"We've established an incident management team which would have all the specialists involved. We are obviously monitoring surveillance all across Europe."

He added: "We have given direct communications out to all of our services to strengthen their awareness of it and the whole approach we are taking the public will be familiar with; create awareness, identify cases, immediately consider contact tracing, breaking the chain [of transmission]."

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