Monkeypox case confirmed in UK as patient travels to England from Nigeria

A MONKEYPOX case has been confirmed in the UK after the patient arrived from Nigeria, health officials say.

The rare disease is spread by wildlife in parts of west or central Africa.

Monkeypox has been confirmed in the UK


Monkeypox has been confirmed in the UK

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) confirmed in a statement today that a case has been found in the UK.

The patient traveled from Nigeria and is now being treated at St Thomas’s Hospital in London.

UKHSA is now working with the NHS to contact anyone who may have been in close contact with the infected person.

This includes passengers who traveled ‘in close proximity’ on their flight to the UK.

It is the sixth case of the rare disease in the UK after two patients were identified in North Wales in 2021.

In 2018, more than 50 people were warned they might have been exposed to the disease.

An NHS nurse contracted the virus while changing a patient’s bed sheets in hospital, blaming “pathetically small” protective gloves.

The disease is extremely rare and is not easily transmitted between people.

Most read in The Irish Sun

However, it can be transmitted through contact with clothing or bedding — including bedding — used by an infected patient.

Direct contact with monkeypox scab or a person with a rash coughing or sneezing can spread the virus.

Symptoms include fever, headache, chills, fatigue, pain, and swollen lymph nodes.

A rash usually spreads from the face down the body about five days after the onset of a fever, before a scab forms.

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is an infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus.

This particular virus is a rare zoonotic disease, meaning it is transmitted from animals to humans.

It is mainly found in remote parts of Central and West Africa near tropical rainforests.

In Africa, human infections have been documented through handling infected monkeys, Gambian giant rats, and squirrels.

Eating the undercooked meat of an infected animal is a risk.

Human-to-human transmission can occur through close contact with the skin lesions of an infected person or objects recently contaminated by the patient.

This generally requires longer face-to-face contact, putting loved ones at greater risk.

Transmission can also occur across the placenta, known as congenital monkeypox.

The first symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • headache
  • Muscle cramp
  • back pain
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • chills
  • exhaustion

A painful rash and open sores can then develop, usually starting on the face.

If the rash spreads to the eyes, it can lead to blindness.

Symptoms generally last 14 to 21 days, with severe cases depending on the patient’s age, level of virus exposure, medical condition, and the severity of complications.

Symptoms are usually mild, and most people recover within a few weeks after treatment at a specialty hospital.

It has a mortality rate of between one and 10 percent, with most deaths occurring in younger age groups.

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 those who were in close contact with the case before their infection was confirmed, to assess them and provide advice where necessary.

“UKHSA and the NHS have well established and robust infection control procedures for dealing with cases of imported infectious diseases and these are strictly followed.”

The zoonotic virus causes rashes and blisters


The zoonotic virus causes rashes and blistersPhoto credit: Getty
Severe cases are more common in children


Severe cases are more common in children Monkeypox case confirmed in UK as patient travels to England from Nigeria

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