First case of mon­key­pox recorded in UK

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS -

THE first-ever case of mon­key­pox has been recorded in the UK.

The rare vi­ral in­fec­tion was recorded on Fri­day in a Nige­rian na­tional stay­ing at a naval base in Corn­wall, Pub­lic Health Eng­land (PHE) said.

The pa­tient was trans­ferred to the ex­pert in­fec­tious dis­ease unit at the Royal Free Hos­pi­tal in Lon­don yesterday morn­ing.

They are be­lieved to have con­tracted the in­fec­tion in Nige­ria be­fore trav­el­ling to the UK.

PHE said mon­key­pox does not spread eas­ily and most pa­tients re­cover within a few weeks, but it can cause se­vere ill­ness in some peo­ple.

Ini­tial symp­toms in­clude fever, headache, aching mus­cles, back­ache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and ex­haus­tion.

A rash can also de­velop, usu­ally start­ing on the face be­fore spread­ing to other parts of the body.

It even­tu­ally forms a scab which falls off.

PHE said that as a pre­cau­tion­ary measure, it is work­ing with ex­perts in the NHS to con­tact a num­ber of peo­ple who were on the same flight as the pa­tient.

The body has not re­vealed whether the pa­tient is a mem­ber of the mil­i­tary, or con­firmed their gen­der.

PHE said in a state­ment: “Peo­ple with­out symp­toms are not con­sid­ered in­fec­tious but, as a pre­cau­tion, those who have been in close prox­im­ity are be­ing con­tacted to en­sure that if they do be­come un­well they can be treated quickly.”

The or­gan­i­sa­tion said pas­sen­gers that are not con­tacted need take no ac­tion.

Dr Michael Ja­cobs, clin­i­cal direc­tor of in­fec­tion at the Royal Free Hos­pi­tal, said: “Mon­key­pox is, in most cases, a mild con­di­tion which will re­solve on its own and have no longterm ef­fects on a per­son’s health.

“Most peo­ple re­cover within sev­eral weeks.

“It is a rare dis­ease caused by mon­key­pox virus, and has been re­ported mainly in cen­tral and west African coun­tries.

“It does not spread eas­ily be­tween peo­ple and the risk of trans­mis­sion to the wider pub­lic is very low.

“We are us­ing strict iso­la­tion pro­ce­dures in hos­pi­tal to pro­tect our staff and pa­tients.”

Dr Nick Phin, deputy direc­tor of the Na­tional In­fec­tion Service at PHE, said: “PHE and the NHS have well-es­tab­lished and ro­bust in­fec­tion con­trol pro­ce­dures for deal­ing with cases of im­ported and in­fec­tious dis­ease and these will be strictly fol­lowed to min­imise the risk of trans­mis­sion.”

GETTY IMAGES

The first ever case of mon­key­pox in the UK has been recorded

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