Local health chief reassures public over monkeypox – no cases have been found in Harborough

“We are not looking at a Covid-type situation here,” said Leicestershire’s Director of Public Health

By Red Williams
Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 11:22 am
Mike Sandys, Leicestershire’s Director of Public Health
Mike Sandys, Leicestershire’s Director of Public Health

The monkeypox virus is starting to spread gradually across the UK – but there have not been any cases of it in Harborough district yet.

The latest figures show that the virus has been found in 14 more people in England – hiking the total number of cases throughout Britain to 71.

But Mike Sandys, Leicestershire’s Director of Public Health, told the Harborough Mail today: “We haven’t had any cases of monkeypox in Harborough yet.

“In fact, we haven’t had any cases yet in Leicestershire or across the East Midlands.

“Up to now monkeypox has been focused on big urban areas, such as London,” said Mike.

“And even here it’s not as if this virus is rocketing through the roof.

“So I don’t want to be blasé about this new health threat.

“But at the same time there’s no need for people in Harborough to fret or worry too much and lose sleep at night about monkeypox.

“We are not looking at a Covid-type situation here.

Monkeypox is much harder to catch than the coronavirus.

“It’s essentially a close contact disease.

“The majority of cases at the moment are striking gay men and bisexual men,” said the county’s public health supremo.

“That seems to be because these men belong to a tight social network – because monkeypox is not a sexually-transmitted disease.

“Victims will come out in a rash, suffer a high temperature, feel tired and listless and have scabs and lesions on their skin,” said Mike.

“If you do think you’ve caught it seek medical help and advice straight away.

“Call 111 or your GP – don’t just turn up at your local surgery.

“There are two strains of monkeypox.

“There is a more dangerous type from Central Africa and a milder version from West Africa,” added Mike.

“So obviously be aware of that and take the necessary precautions if you are travelling out to those parts of Africa.

“But cases of Covid are continuing to fall in Harborough as across Leicestershire and England.

“And I’m pretty sure that we are not going to see a repeat of the coronavirus pandemic with monkeypox.”