There were no new or suspected infections in the week up to November 7, according to figures released by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).
It marks the first time that no new cases have been recorded since June 21, when the UKHSA began releasing its weekly epidemiological report to track the spread of the virus. Just one infection was recorded across England in the seven days up to November 7, in the West Midlands.
London was the epicentre of the initial monkeypox outbreak in May and 2,424 infections have been reported in the capital since – by far the highest tally in the UK. Symptoms of the virus include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.
Monkeypox is not normally a sexually-transmitted infection, but it can be passed on by direct contact during sex. It can also be spread through touching clothing, bedding or towels used by someone with the monkeypox rash or through the coughs of somebody with the infection – though this form of transmission is not as common.
In September, the UKHSA announced that second doses of the smallpox vaccine are being offered to those people at highest risk from monkeypox.
More than 45,000 people have received a dose of the vaccine, including more than 40,000 gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. These groups have the highest risk of exposure to monkeypox.
A study released earlier this month by the UKHSA found that transmission of the virus could occur up to four days before any symptoms appear, meaning many infections cannot be prevented by asking people to isolate themselves after they notice symptoms.
The original outbreak of monkeypox last May raised alarm among health officials because the viral disease, which was first found in monkeys, mostly occurs in west and central Africa and only occasionally spreads elsewhere.
But its spread has since slowed across the UK and in Europe, where it peaked in early August.
Professor Kevin Fenton, London regional director of public health, told the Standard: “It is encouraging news that there have been no confirmed cases of monkeypox in London over the past week. I would like to see this trend continue over a number of weeks to ensure that we have indeed turned a corner in this outbreak.
“In the meantime, it is important that eligible gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men continue to come forward for their first and second monkeypox vaccines. London sexual health clinics have an ample supply and are ready to vaccinate.
“Please continue to be aware of the symptoms of monkeypox, including rashes and blisters, and particularly if you have recently had a new sexual partner. If you have symptoms of monkeypox, stay at home and avoid close contact with other people, including sharing towels or bedding, and call a sexual health clinic for advice.”