The health authorities of the UK have confirmed one case of monkeypox, which is a virus passed on from infected animals like rodents to humans, in someone who recently travelled to Nigeria, where he is believed to have caught it.
The UK. Health Security Agency (UKHSA) stated that monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not easily spread through people and is often a mild “self-limiting illness” with patients recovering within a few weeks. Yet, serious illness can happen in some cases.
On Saturday, 7 May, The Director of Clinical and Emerging Infections at the UKHSA, Dr Colin Brown, said, “It is necessary to highlight that monkeypox does not spread easily between individuals and the risk to the public is very less.”
He further stated, “We are operating with NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) to reach the individuals who have had close contact with the case before confirmation of their infection, to assess them as essential and provide advice. UKHSA and the NHS have well established, and strong infection control procedures for dealing with cases of imported contagious disease, and these will be rigorously followed.”
The Consultant in Infectious Diseases at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital, Dr Nicholas Price, further added that the patient is being treated in a specialised isolated unit at St. Thomas Hospital by specialised clinical staff with strict infection prevention procedures.
UKHSA experts said, as a preventive measure, they are working closely with the state-funded National Health Service (NHS) of England and will be reaching individuals who might have been in close contact with the infected person to give information and health advice.
This also includes reaching several passengers who were on the same flight as the patient.
Initial symptoms of monkeypox include headache, backache, exhaustion, fever, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes and chills. A rash can develop, often starting on the face and then extending to other body parts. The rash changes and goes via different stages before ultimately forming a scab, which later falls off.