Two Nigerian travellers import monkeypox into UK

Royal Liverpool University Hospital

Royal Liverpool University Hospital

Monkeypox is a rare disease that occurs when a person becomes infected with the virus of the same name.

There is "no United Kingdom link" between the two patients, PHE said.

The second case first presented at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and following a positive test result was transferred to Royal Liverpool University Hospital, an expert respiratory infectious disease centre, where they are receiving appropriate care.

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".

A rash can then develop, usually on the face before spreading around the body.

Nick Phin, deputy director of the national infection service at PHE, said the monkeypox virus was likely to be circulating in Nigeria after a large outbreak there in 2017, and could therefore affect travelers returning to Britain.

Symptoms generally appear within ten days of exposure to the virus and can last for between two and five weeks. This then forms skin lesions that scab and fall off.

Yet, the disease is deadly in up to 10 per cent of cases, particularly if a young person is affected.

"All necessary precautions are being taken". "We are working hard to contact individuals, including healthcare workers, that might have come into contact with the individual to provide information and health advice", he said. "We ask that people continue to use our services as normal".

The first case in a human was discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1970, and since cases have been reported in central and west African countries.

It can cause severe illness in some people, with symptoms including fever, headache, aching muscles, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

He noted that a Technical Working Group coordinated by NCDC and comprising partners from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF, US Centers for Disease Control (US CDC) and other agencies, meet weekly to ensure coordination.

Humans can catch monkeypox through direct contact with animals, such as handling monkeys, or eating inadequately cooked meat. Most people recover within several weeks.