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Message of reassurance to Cornwall over monkeypox

Message of reassurance to Cornwall over monkeypox

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 3:43pm 10th September 2018.

A message of reassurance is going out after the UK's first ever monkeypox case is confirmed in Cornwall.

The patient is from Nigeria and was visiting a naval base in the Duchy when they were diagnosed.

It is believed they contracted the infection abroad. They have now been transferred to the infectious disease unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not spread easily between people.

monkey pox
This is what monkeypox looks like when it spreads all over the body

It is usually a mild self-limiting illness and most people recover within a few weeks. However, severe illness can occur in some individuals.

The infection can be spread when someone is in close contact with an infected person; however there is a very low risk of transmission to the general population.

Public Health England is urging people in Cornwall not to worry after the diagnosis.

"In terms of the risks to other people and the general population, it is very, very low, you have to be in very close contact with someone with monkeypox to be infected, either because they were coughing up material from their lungs which is infectious or by having contact with their skin.

"I want to just reassure people that there are robust and established arrangements for dealing with cases like this.

"Our priority action from a reassurance perspective is to make sure that anyone who would be described as in close contact has been given all the information they need around signs and symptoms and what to do if they do become unwell."

Mike Wade, Public Health England

What do we know about monkey pox?

Initial symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body. The rash changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab, which later falls off.

Some people, however, can become seriously ill. Up to one in ten of those infected in Africa have died, according to studies.

There is currently no approved treatment for monkey pox, although health officials say the small pox vaccine is assumed to give some immunity against the disease.

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