A new UK research consortium is being formed to tackle the country’s unprecedented monkeypox outbreak.
Thousands of infections have been reported around the world this year, far more than is typically found in parts of Africa, leaving countries unaccustomed to battling the virus forced to respond.
UK has reported Nearly 3,500 cases as of last monthas the numbers fell from a sharp and sudden increase in the first few months of summer.
In early October, Professor Neil Ferguson, one of the country’s leading infectious disease experts, said changes in behaviour and vaccination Helps lead to a “very positive” situation.
The UK now hopes to keep abreast of the disease’s progression, with leading researchers and scientists from more than a dozen institutions being convened for the new consortium.
It will aim to develop better diagnostic tests, including lateral flow for use during the COVID pandemic, and to identify potential treatments and study the effectiveness of a smallpox vaccine against the virus.
The coalition will work closely with experts from government agencies to study existing outbreaks and inform domestic and international public health responses.
It will be led by the Pirbright Institute and the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, with £2 million in funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Medical Research Council.
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