Monkeypox: First cases of rare infection diagnosed in UK

Leslie Hanson
September 13, 2018

The patient, only the second in the United Kingdom to be diagnosed with the rare viral infection, was quarantined before being transferred to Liverpool, which specialises in tropical diseases - and bosses at the Vic have moved to stress patients, staff, and visitors are no longer at risk.

The first case of the disease was recorded on Friday in a Nigerian national staying at a naval base in Cornwall.

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

The illness has been reported mainly in central and west African countries. Unfortunately, there is no treatment that has been shown to be effective or safe.

"Monkeypox does not actually spread easily between people and the overall risk to the general public is very low".

Both patients are however said to be receiving appropriate care at Royal Infectious University, an expert respiratory infectious disease centre.

Dr Nick Phin, deputy director of the PHE's National Infection Service, said there was a sustained outbreak of monkeypox in Nigeria in September 2017 and sporadic cases continue to be reported.

Public Health England (PHE) said it was unusual to see two cases in such a short space of time and officials were searching for anyone, including medical staff, who had come into contact with either patient, to offer them health advice.


Although monkeypox and smallpox have similar symptoms, monkeypox is less deadly than smallpox: In previous outbreaks, the fatality rate for monkeypox has been between 1 percent and 10 percent, World Health Organization said. At present the PHE has said in a statement the there is no connection between these two patients and the second patient could not have contracted the infection from the first.

Monkeypox can spread from person to person, much like the flu, where droplets from sneezes or close contact will see the disease jump between people.

It is transmitted through direct contact with infected animals or humans or contaminated materials.

As of September 7, 2018, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have not issued a specific monkeypox Travel Alert for Nigeria. The rash can scar the skin, in a similar way to chickenpox spots.

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 long-term effects on a person's health".

"Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting from 14 to 21 days". This rash can form blisters, which crust over, before the scab peels off.

"We are also in collaboration with other agencies where we meet weekly to ensure coordination".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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