First Case Of Monkeypox Diagnosed In The UK

A monkeypox patient in Africa where cases of the the viral infection are on the rise

A monkeypox patient in Africa where cases of the the viral infection are on the rise

He flew from Nigeria, where he is believed to have contracted the disease, to London on a commercial flight last weekend.

It can pass from human- to-human via droplets in the air, and by touching the skin of an infected individual, or touching objects contaminated by them.

Initial symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. As the illness develops large welts can appear over the face and body.

Dr Michael Jacobs, clinical director of infection at the Royal Free Hospital, said monkeypox "does not spread easily between people and the risk of transmission to the wider public is very low".

The World Health Organisation says monkeypox occurs primarily in west and central Africa, near tropical rainforests, and is mostly passed to humans from rodents and primates. The rash changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab, which later falls off.

Its experts are working closely with NHS colleagues "as a precautionary measure" and will be contacting people who might have been in close contact with the individual to provide information and health advice.

It has not been revealed whether the patient is a member of the military, or what gender they are. If passengers are not contacted then there is no action they should take. Most people recover within several weeks. This is the first time this infection has been diagnosed in the United Kingdom (UK).

"We are using strict isolation procedures in hospital to protect our staff and patients", he added.

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'.