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UK sees worst monkeypox outside Africa intensify with over 100 new cases

British health officials have detected another 104 cases of monkeypox in England in what has become the biggest outbreak beyond Africa of the normally rare disease.

The UK’s Health Security Agency says there are now 470 cases of monkeypox across the country, with the vast majority in gay or bisexual men. Scientists warn that anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, is susceptible to catching monkeypox if they are in close, physical contact with an infected person or their clothing or bedsheets.

According to UK data, 99% of the cases so far have been in men and most are in London.

In May, a leading adviser to the World Health Organization said the monkeypox outbreak in Europe and beyond was likely spread by sex at two recent raves in Spain and Belgium.

Last week, WHO said 1,285 cases of monkeypox had been reported from 28 countries where monkeypox was not known to be endemic. No deaths have been reported outside of Africa. After the UK, the biggest numbers of cases have been reported in Spain, Germany and Canada.

Israel reported its fourth case on Thursday. No new cases have been announced since then.

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