There is no cure for the Africa-linked infection, which can cause serious illness in some people, British doctors say
A rare case of monkeypox has been confirmed in England, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) announced on Saturday.
The agency pointed out that monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not spread easily between people. For the most part, it is a mild illness that resolves within a few weeks, but some may develop serious illness.
The patient who was diagnosed with monkeypox had recently arrived in the UK from Nigeria and is being treated in the Infectious Diseases Isolation Unit at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital in central London.
“As a precaution, UKHSA experts are working closely with NHS colleagues and will contact people who may have been in close contact with the individual to provide health information and advice.“, said the UKHSA.
The agency considers the overall risk to the general public”very slow.”
Monkeypox is similar to human smallpox, which was eradicated in 1980, and can be confused with chicken pox. Its early symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. A rash often starts on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body.
According to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), monkeypox can be caught from infected wild animals in parts of West and Central Africa.
“It is thought to be spread by rodents, such as rats, mice and squirrels“, says the NHS.
Only a few people have been diagnosed with monkeypox in the UK and all have traveled to West Africa or were close contact with someone who had traveled there.
A 2003 outbreak of monkeypox in the United States was traced to a pet store where small mammals from Ghana were sold.
Although monkeypox is generally milder than smallpox, the death rate among infected people in Africa can be as high as 10%, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
There is currently no cure for the virus, although the smallpox vaccine will prevent infection, according to the NHS and CDC.