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NEW monkeypox case diagnosed in the UK

NEW monkeypox case diagnosed in the UK

Published by Emma Carton at 12:45pm 4th December 2019. (Updated at 12:48pm 4th December 2019)

A new case of monkeypox has been diagnosed in the UK, just over a year after the first was confirmed in Cornwall.

Public Health England has revealed the new patient was staying in the south-west before being transferred to specialists in London.

Officials say they will not be releasing the exact location, but have added the person is believed to have caught it during a visit to Nigeria.

They are keen to stress that monkeypox does not spread easily between people and the risk to the public is very low.

What do health officials say?

As a precautionary measure, PHE experts are working closely with NHS colleagues to implement rapid infection control procedures.

They are contacting people who might have been in close contact with the individual to provide information and health advice.

This includes contacting passengers who travelled in close proximity to the patient on the same flight to the UK. If passengers are not contacted, then there is no action they should take.

"Monkeypox does not spread easily between people and the overall risk to the general public is very low.

"We are following up with those who have had close contact with the patient to offer advice and to monitor them as necessary.

"PHE and the NHS have well established and robust infection control procedures for dealing with cases of imported infectious disease and these will be strictly followed to minimise the risk of transmission".

Dr Meera Chand, Consultant Microbiologist at Public Health England

What do we know about monkeypox?

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.

You can read more about the latest confirmed case of monkeypox in the UK here.

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