Monkeypox could cause a huge problem for sexual health services, doctor warns | The Argus

The disease, which was first found in monkeys, can be transmitted from person to person through close physical contact – including sexual intercourse – and is caused by the monkeypox virus.

The number of cases confirmed in Britain has hit 20 with nine other countries outside of Central and West Africa also reporting outbreaks.

Speaking to the BBC Dr Dewsnap said that clinic staff were “already under significant pressure” before monkeypox was identified, making the situation worse.

She added: “It is already stretching the workforce and will have a massive impact if staff have to isolate if they are in close contact with someone who’s infected.”

“In terms of the infection and its consequences for individuals, I’m not that concerned,” she later told BBC Radio 4.

“But I am concerned about our ability to maintain good sexual health services and access for everyone while still managing this new infection.”

‘Adequate funding needed for sexual health services

Dr Dewsnap also called for “adequate funding” for sexual health services.

She told BBC Breakfast: “Over the last 10 years, there’s been a significant decrease in funding through the public health budget.

“And that has seen a direct effect on staffing level and that means we have less capacity to see people.

“We used to be able to see people within 48 hours of them contacting us – that’s really important because it cuts down the window where people have an infection, they don’t know they have an infection and therefore they can pass it on to the people.

“So the speed in which we see people is really critical and monkeypox coming along shows us that more than ever before.

“So we need adequate funding so we can adequately staff with the experts that we need and the appropriately trained staff in clinics so that we can ensure people can get in quickly, and therefore we can reduce the risk of infection of other people.”

This content was originally published here.

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