Monkeypox case confirmed in UK: 10 things you should know about the rare viral infection

Monkeypox outbreak 2022: Monkeypox virus was first identified in a captive monkey and since 1970 the sporadic outbreaks of Monkeypox virus have been reported across 10 African countries.  The first-ever recorded occurrence of the Monkeypox virus in England was in 2018.

Created On: May 9, 2022 13:54 IST
Monkeypox Case in UK
Monkeypox Case in UK

Monkeypox outbreak 2022 uk: An individual in England who had recently traveled to Nigeria has been diagnosed with Monkeypox virus, the Health Security Agency of the United Kingdom confirmed. The patient has a recent travel history of visiting Nigeria, where the authorities believed to have caught the Monkeypox virus before coming to the UK. The individual is now being treated at an expert infectious disease unit at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS trust in London.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection from which most of the infected people recover in a few weeks. The Monkeypox virus also does not spread easily between individuals and the risk of the wider public infection is extremely low.

Monkeypox case in UK: 10 things to know about viral infection

1. The first-ever recorded occurrence of the Monkeypox virus in England was in 2018. Since then, a handful of cases has been reported by the health authorities.

2. The initial symptoms of monkeypox infection include headache, fever, backache, muscle ache, chills, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion.

3. Monkeypox rash can develop often on the face and then spread to other parts of the body. The rash also changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab which then later falls off.

4. Monkeypox virus can be spread by contact with infected animals such as rats, monkeys, and squirrels. It can also spread by virus-contaminated objects- such as clothing and bedding.

5. Monkeypox virus does not spread easily between people and is usually mild ‘self-limiting’ illness with most people recovering within a week.

6. Monkeypox infection could be caught from the infected wild animals in the parts of the west and central Africa and was believed to be spread by rodents.

7. Monkeypox virus was first identified in a captive monkey and since 1970 there have been sporadic outbreaks of Monkeypox reported across 10 African countries.

8. The first time Monkeypox was reported outside Africa was in 2003 when there was an outbreak in the US.

9. Nigeria in 2017 experienced the largest documented outbreak of Monkeypox. There were 172 suspected cases of the virus and 75% of the victims were males between the age of 21 to 40 years.

10. There is no defined treatment for Monkeypox, however, the outbreaks can be controlled by preventing infection. The vaccination against the smallpox is proven to be 85% effective against Monkeypox.

Monkeypox in UK: What UK Health authorities said?

As per the UK Health authorities, the monkeypox virus does not spread easily between people and the risk of wider public infection is low.

However, as a precautionary measure, the UKHSA experts have been working closely with NHS colleagues. They will be contacting people who might have been in close contact with the infected individual to provide information and health advice.

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