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Case of monkeypox confirmed in England

Published on 09/05/22 at 09:09am

The UK Health Security Agency has confirmed that a person in England has been diagnosed with the monkeypox virus.

The patient had recently been in Nigeria, where they are suspected to have caught the virus, before entering the UK. They are now being treated at an expert infectious disease unit at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS trust in London.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection which most people recover from in a few weeks, according to the NHS. The virus causes a rash, which can be extremely itchy, and can change and go through different stages before finally forming a scab.

The symptoms of monkeypox include a fever, headache, muscle aches, backaches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion, according to the UKSHA.

It can be spread when somebody is in close contact with an infected person. The virus can enter the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract, or through the eyes, nose, and mouth. It can also be spread through contact with infected animals, such as monkeys, rats, and squirrels, or by virus-contaminated objects, such as bedding and clothing.

Dr Colin Brown, director of clinical and emerging infections at the UKHSA, said: “It is important to emphasise that monkeypox does not spread easily between people and the overall risk to the general public is very low. We are working with NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) to contact the individuals who have had close contact with the case prior to confirmation of their infection, to assess them as necessary and provide advice.

“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.”

Lina Adams

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