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Monkeypox case identified in England, UK health agency confirms

monkey pox

Health officials are working to identify people the infected person may have been in contact with (Image: Getty)

Health officials are trying to trace people who may have been in contact with someone infected with monkeypox.

A rare case of the infection has been identified in a patient in England, health chiefs have confirmed.

Britain’s Health Security Agency said the potentially serious infection had been detected in a person who fell ill after visiting Nigeria.

They are now being treated at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust’s Infectious Diseases unit in London.

Monkeypox causes a disease similar to smallpox but has a lower mortality rate.

It is capable of migrating from animals to humans and is known to be found in primate populations, particularly in Central and West Africa.

The first case in the UK was registered in 2018 and was again linked to travel to Nigeria.

Scientists have confirmed that the disease can be transmitted from person to person through close contact with an infected person.

Smallpox virus illustration. Smallpox viruses are oval and have double-stranded DNA. There are many types of smallpox viruses, including chickenpox, monkeypox, and smallpox. Smallpox was eradicated in the 1970s. Infection occurs through contact with contaminated animals or humans and results in a rash or small bumps on the skin.

The monkeypox virus is known to be human-to-human, but it is easily transmitted (Image: Getty/Science Libra)

First symptoms are fever, headache, sore muscles, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

A rash can also develop, which usually starts on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body. Eventually a scab forms and falls off.

Health officials have stressed that most people recover from the disease and it does not spread easily.

dr Colin Brown, Director of Clinical and Emerging Infections at the UKHSA, said: “It is important to stress that monkeypox does not spread easily between humans and the overall risk to the general public is very low.

“We are working with NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) to contact those who were in close contact with the case before their infection was confirmed, to assess them and provide advice where necessary.

London, England - July 15th, 2016: A large sign planted in a flower bed of lavender bushes outside St Thomas ??? Hospital on the South Bank of the River Thames in London. Saint Thomas??? The hospital is a large, famous National Health Service (NHS) hospital and one of the buildings of King's College London School of Medicine: it dates originally from the early Middle Ages. Behind the hospital sign is the Park Plaza Hotel.

The patient is being treated at a London hospital as contact tracing efforts continue (Image: Getty Images)

“UKHSA and the NHS have well established and robust infection control procedures for dealing with cases of imported infectious diseases and these are strictly followed.”

The disease was first identified in monkeys in the 1950s and human cases were confirmed in the 1970s.

A major outbreak, the first in the western hemisphere, occurred in the United States in 2003.

Cases were identified in several states, but none were fatal and all could be traced to the sale of prairie dogs, with human-to-human transmission not being a factor.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/05/07/monkeypox-case-identified-in-england-uk-health-security-agency-confirms-16604154/ Monkeypox case identified in England, UK health agency confirms

Justin Scacco

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