Rare case of monkeypox confirmed in England, UK Health Security Agency says | UK News


A rare case of monkeypox has been confirmed in England, health officials have said.

The viral infection usually causes mild illness and most people recover within a few weeks and is similar to human smallpox.

Initial symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache and exhaustion.

However, severe illness can occur in some individuals.

The patient found with monkeypox recently travelled to the UK from Nigeria, where they are believed to have contracted the infection.

The person is receiving care at the expert infectious disease unit at the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London.

According to the NHS, monkeypox is mainly spread by wild animals in parts of west or central Africa and the risk of catching it in the UK is very low.

The infection can be spread through close contact with an infected person, but there is a very low risk of transmission to the general population.

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Dr Colin Brown, director of clinical and emerging infections at the UK Health Security Agency, said: “UKHSA and the NHS have well established and robust infection control procedures for dealing with cases of imported infectious disease and these will be strictly followed”.

According to Public Health England, monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 when outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in monkeys kept for research.

The first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

On 3 December 2019, a patient was diagnosed with monkeypox in England and two other cases in travellers were diagnosed in Israel in 2018 and Singapore in 2019.


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