person in England has been diagnosed with monkeypox, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said.
The patient had recently travelled from Nigeria, which is where they are believed to have contracted the infection, before travelling to the UK.
They are being treated at the specialist high consequence infectious disease centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London.
Dr Nicholas Price, director NHSEI high consequence infection diseases (airborne) network and consultant in infectious diseases at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “The patient is being treated in our specialist isolation unit at St Thomas’ Hospital by expert clinical staff with strict infection prevention procedures.
“This is a good example of the way that the high consequence infectious diseases national network and UKHSA work closely together in responding swiftly and effectively to these sporadic cases.”
The disease, which is similar to smallpox, is usually found in central and West Africa, but it does not spread easily between humans and most people recover within a few weeks.
But what exactly is monkeypox and what symptoms should you be aware of? Here’s everything you need to know:
What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with monkeypox virus.
Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 during an outbreak of pox-like disease in monkeys.
The first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and since then the infection has been reported in a number of central and western African countries.
What are the symptoms?
The illness begins with:
- muscle aches
- swollen lymph nodes
Within 1 to 5 days after getting a fever, a rash develops, often beginning on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body, such as the hands and soles of the feet.
The rash will finally form a scab before falling off.
Is it deadly?
No. Monkeypox is a mild condition which will often resolve on its own and has no known long-term effects on a person’s health.
How do you prevent monkeypox?
Generally, the risk of infection unlikely.
Dr Michael Jacobs, clinical director of infection at Royal Free Hospital, said monkeypox “does not spread easily between people and the risk of transmission to the wider public is very low.”
Still, the best way to avoid infection is to regularly wash hands after caring for sick people.