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07th May 2022

Monkeypox case confirmed in the UK as authorities issue urgent health warning

Kieran Galpin

This marks the sixth case in UK history

After a case of monkeypox was confirmed in the UK, officials have been forced to issue a warning to Brits about the disease.

Monkeypox is a virus that stems from west and central Africa, usually spread by wild animals. After someone had travelled to Nigeria, they returned with the virus and are now being treated at Guy’s Hospital in London.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) confirmed the case on May 7 via a public statement and is now looking for people who may have come into contact with the infected. This includes people “in close proximity” on their flight to the UK.

This is the sixth case in the UK after two patients were identified in North Wales in 2021.

Via The World Health Organisation

While the disease does not travel easily between people, it can be passed via contact on clothing or linens, as seen in 2018 when an NHS nurse caught the virus. Direct contact with scabs can also spread the virus, as can inhaling droplets when a person with rash coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, a headache, chills, exhaustion, aches and swollen lymph nodes. Most notably, a rash spreads from the face across the body for around five days.

Recovery usually takes a few weeks after receiving specialist treatment, and the mortality rate is between 1 and 10 per cent, with young people affected the most.

Via The World Health Organisation

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

He continued: “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.”

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