The UK government has called upon its people to abstain from sex and use condoms as cases of monkeypox rise to 179 over the weekend.
UK’s Health Security Agency (UKHSA) advised anyone with the virus to abstain from sex while they have symptoms.
The agency also told them to use condoms for eight weeks after infection as a precaution.
According to a Monday report by the BBC, UKHSA however noted that the guidelines were precautionary as there is currently no available evidence that monkeypox can be spread in sexual fluids.
These are among the latest measures the UK government has issued to control the outbreak whose risk to the population it says is still low.
Additionally, people who have tested positive for the virus and their close contacts are being told to isolate themselves at home for three weeks.
They are also advised to avoid contact with other people until all lesions – or blisters – have healed and scabs dried off.
“The highest risk of transmission is through direct contact with someone with monkeypox,” UKHSA’s Dr. Ruth Milton said.
“The risk to the UK population remains low and anyone with unusual rashes or lesions on any part of their body should immediately contact NHS 111 or their local sexual health service.”
This comes even as the World Health Organization acknowledges 257 confirmed monkeypox cases and about 120 suspected cases in 23 nations where the virus is not endemic as of Thursday last week.
WHO, in an update on Sunday, May 21, said it had received reports of 1,365 cases and 69 monkeypox deaths in five African countries where monkeypox is commonly found.
The organization said the illnesses were reported in various periods ranging from mid-December to late May.
However, no deaths have been reported in nonendemic countries.