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Monkeypox case confirmed in UK as patient receiving treatment in isolation unit

Monkeypox does not spread easily between people. It is usually a mild, self-limiting illness and most people recover within a few weeks.

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What is Monkeypox? all you need to know

A case of monkeypox has been confirmed in the UK, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) announced today.

The patient is believed to have contracted the rare viral infection from Nigeria, where he was before coming to the UK.

The patient is currently in a sunstroke unit and is being cared for in the infectious disease expert unit at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London.

Monkeypox does not spread easily between people. It is usually a mild, self-limiting illness and most people recover within a few weeks.

However, serious illness can occur in some people.

The infection can spread if someone is in close contact with an infected person, but the risk of transmission to the general population is very low, the UKHSA said.

This image shows symptoms of monkeypox


Getty Images)

As a precaution, the UKHSA and NHS are working to contact people who may have come into close contact with those infected.

This includes contacting a number of air passengers who were in close proximity to the patient during their flight.

Those who do not show symptoms are not considered infectious, but those who have been in close contact will be told that if they start to feel unwell they can be treated quickly.

Monkeypox is normally found in remote areas of central and western Africa near tropical rainforests.

Monkeypox has eight symptoms that usually don’t appear for at least five days.

This “incubation period” can last up to 13 or 21 days before it is clear that the person has monkeypox.

During the first five days, the eight symptoms are:

  • A high temperature of 38C or more
  • A headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Back ache
  • Swollen glands
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • A rash that crusts over and may fill with fluid

The rash usually appears within the first five days according to the NHS.

In 95% of cases, the rash affects the face and in 75% the hands, according to the World Health Organization.

You can catch monkeypox by touching an infected person’s stains or scabs or their clothes or bedding, and it can be spread by sneezing and coughing.

However, the virus is considered unlikely to spread from human to human.

It is more likely that the virus came from direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected animal.

The illness usually lasts two to four weeks and people may get better without treatment.

It can be dangerous if people develop secondary infections such as sepsis, encephalitis, and corneal infection leading to loss of vision.

Furthermore, the UKHSA advises that if passengers are not contacted, they have no action to take.

Dr Colin Brown, Director of Clinical and Emerging Infections, UKHSA, said: “It is important to stress 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 people who had close contact with the case before their infection was confirmed, to assess them if necessary and provide advice.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection

“The UKHSA and NHS have well established and robust infection control procedures for dealing with cases of imported infectious disease and these will be strictly followed.

Dr Nicholas Price, director of the NHSE High Consequence Infection Diseases (airborne) network and infectious disease consultant at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “The patient is being treated in our specialist isolation unit at St Thomas’ Hospital by expert clinical staff with infection prevention procedures This is a good example of how the National High Consequence Infectious Diseases Network and the UKHSA are working closely together to respond quickly and effectively to these sporadic cases.

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