First case of monkeypox in a pregnant woman confirmed as cases surge

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A PREGNANT woman has contracted monkeypox as cases continue to rise globally, experts have revealed.

The woman, based in the US, delivered the baby without any complications.

Dr John Brooks from the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) said the baby hadn’t caught the illness from its mother.

Officials at the Infectious Disease Society of America said the newborn was given an infusion of immune globulin.

This is an antibody treatment which medics in the US have approved during the monkeypox outbreak.

The pregnant woman was not identified during the report, and neither was her state of origin.

Medics said that both mum and baby are doing well after labour.

Just last month experts warned that the continuous spread of the virus is worrying for certain groups of people.

Pregnant women, the immunosuppressed and children are at high risk when it comes to monkeypox.

Pregnant women are more susceptible to illness, due to the fact that their immune system is compromised.

The case of monkeypox in a pregnant woman in the US comes as infections continue to surge.

Data suggests that globally, cases are now at over 14,000.

In the US there are around 3,591 infections, with New York being hit hardest, where 900 cases have been picked up.

Other areas with high case counts include California, with 356, Illinois with 350 and Florida with 309.

In the UK chiefs yesterday revealed that there have been 2,367 confirmed cases, a rise of 159 in the space of four days.

There are also 65 “highly probable cases”, taking the total to 2,432.

Dr Sophia Makki, National Incident Director at UKHSA, warned people to check for symptoms of monkeypox – namely a rash or blisters on the skin – before having sex.

Close physical contact enables the virus to spread, hence why people are picking it up through sexual activity.

But it is not defined as a sexually tramismitted disease.

People can also catch monkeypox from an infected person’s bed sheets or towels, or from their coughs or sneezes. 

Dr Makki said: “Monkeypox cases continue to rise, with the virus being passed on predominantly in interconnected sexual networks. 

“Before you have sex, go to a party or event, check yourself for monkeypox symptoms, including rashes and blisters. 

“If you have monkeypox symptoms, take a break from attending events or sex until you’ve called 111 or a sexual health service and been assessed by a clinician.”

The NHS has launched a vaccination programme, centred around the outbreak epicentre of London, to protect those most at risk.

This includes men who have sex with men, including gay and bisexual men. 

More than 95 per cent of the monkeypox cases so far in the UK have been in this group – with the same trend seen globally.

Some 100,000 jabs will be available.

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