Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Monkeypox: All we know about this rare infection

GETTY FEARS A second case of monkeypox has been detected in the UK. File GETTY FEARS A second case of monkeypox has been detected in the UK. File
Gustavo Carr | 13 September, 2018, 21:44

And are you at risk?

Two people in the United Kingdom have now been diagnosed with monkeypox, a rare viral infection that can be fatal if left untreated.

Following the recent report of the two cases in the UK, NCDC has been working with the UK's public health agency; Public Health England (PHE), the public health departments in the affected states and other partners in Nigeria to investigate these cases.

Following his diagnosis, he was taken to a specialist unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

"We know that in September 2017 Nigeria experienced a large sustained outbreak of monkeypox and since then sporadic cases have continued to be reported", stated Dr Nick Phin, the deputy director of the National Infection Service at Public Health England.

"However, it is very unusual to see two cases in such a relatively short space of time".

Both hospitals are using quarantine and isolation methods in a bid to stop the virus from spreading to staff and patients.

The patient travelled to Nigeria where they are believed to have acquired the infection.

The disease requires two people to be in close contact in order to be passed between them.

In the last three months of 2017, there were more than 170 suspected cases and more than 60 confirmed cases in different parts of the country.

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More than 58,000 working days were lost as a result at Yorkshire's fire, police and ambulance services, an increase of 33 per cent since 2014/15.

The first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Most people who contract the disease recover within a few weeks, but in up to 10 per cent of cases it is fatal.

However, monkeypox can cause severe illness-and even death-in some cases.

"So, just to reassure those who have not yet realised this post is actually a (bad) joke, WE ARE NOT treating any individual for monkeypox at Royal Preston Hospital". Most people recover within several weeks. Monkeypox mostly occurs in Central and West Africa.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection, similar to smallpox though not as deadly, that was first discovered in monkeys in 1958.

America notably saw the disease materialise in 2003, where over 70 cases were recorded from an original outbreak site in Wisconsin, later traced in origination to Ghana. This second case was a patient who tested positive for the virus at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Although monkeypox is an infectious disease, PHE has said that it is not easily spread between people.

Dr Phin said: "The overall risk to the general public is very low". Guidelines on the management of Monkeypox cases and outbreaks can be found on the NCDCs website.

"We are also in collaboration with other agencies where we meet weekly to ensure coordination".

What are the signs of monkeypox?

The lesions progress to become small, fluid-filled blisters before scabbing over and falling off.