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EPIDEMIC

More than 2500 cases of monkeypox reported in the UK

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Monkeypox has been spreading across the globe, to the concern of many

Over 2500 cases of monkeypox have now been recorded by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

As of 1 August 2022, there are 2,672 confirmed and 87 highly probable monkeypox cases in the UK: 2,759 in total. Of these, 2,638 are in England. NHS staff across the country have already started vaccinating eligible gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men (GBMSM), along with the frontline staff at greatest risk of exposure and those who have been in close contact with a confirmed case, in line with the UKHSA advice.

While the vaccine is available across the country and being rolled out in clinics, the expansion in London comes as NHS and UKHSA confirm that London will receive additional doses of the existing supply in an effort to break the chains of transmission as quickly as possible.

‘Monkeypox cases continue to rise, with the virus being passed on predominantly in interconnected sexual networks,’ said Dr Sophia Makki, National Incident Director at UKHSA.

‘Vaccination will further strengthen our monkeypox response and so we urge all those who are eligible for the vaccine to take it up when offered. It will help protect yourself and others you have had close contact with. While the infection is mild for many, it can cause severe symptoms and hospitalisation in some.’

Spain, Brazil, and India have reported monkeypoxrelated deaths, the first outside of Africa. The death in Brazil was of a 41-year-old man with lymphoma and weakened immunity who went into septic shock. In Spain and

India, the deaths involved young men.

‘Sadly we were always going to see some deaths with this pandemic. Historically, in Africa we saw mortality rates of about 3% with the West African variant. Overall of about 22,000 cases reported world-wide, so far we know of 4 deaths outside of Africa (about 0.02%) dramatically lower than in African cases, though it is likely that this number will rise over coming weeks. So the risk of death from a monkeypox infection outside of endemic countries is substantially lower,’ said Prof Paul Hunter, Professor in Medicine at UEA.

‘Historically, monkeypox can be more severe in children, the immune compromised and pregnant women and so risk of death in these groups following an infection would be higher.’

For the latest news go to IndependentNurse.co.uk

RENUMERATION

Outrage as PM hopeful suggests ending national pay deals

Frontrunner to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister Liz Truss briefly suggested that, if elected, she would end national pay deals for public sector staff, a move branded an ‘insult to nursing professionals’ by the RCN.

Ms Truss later retracted her comments and said current levels of public sector pay will be maintained. The Tory leadership candidate suggested linking pay to regional living standards. This would mean nursing staff doing similar roles receiving different salaries depending on location. She vowed to end national pay deals for civil servants and said she would do the same in other public sector roles if the scheme was successful.

‘This was an attack on NHS values and a direct assault on its professionals. Undermining trade unions and their members, diversity and employment rights are warped priorities when Ms Truss herself says hospitals are crumbling,’ said Pat Cullen, RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive.

‘By suggesting that salaries for nurses and support workers deserve cutting further she has shown her true colours.’

According to the RCN, ‘Lowering nursing pay in any region of the UK is always a bad idea. Proposing this during a cost-of-living crisis is insulting to nursing staff everywhere.’ They point out that there are already tens of thousands of unfilled nursing jobs and cutting salaries will drive many more out of the profession. These shortages mean that care is suffering.

‘National salaries are key to a national service. A move to regional pay in the NHS was defeated 10 years ago and I give notice to Ms Truss that I would fight her just as strongly if she were to pursue such a policy,’ added Ms Cullen.

‘This will be fresh in the minds of nursing staff when they vote on taking strike action in our upcoming industrial action ballot.’

For the latest news go to IndependentNurse.co.uk

Healthcare Ltd

MA

2022

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4 | Independent Nurse |  August 2022

www.independentnurse.co.uk

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