Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Case of monkeypox confirmed in Blackpool

Royal Liverpool University Hospital Image The second patient is being treated at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital
Delores Daniels | 13 September, 2018, 04:47

A second case of monkeypox has been identified in the United Kingdom, just days after the first was discovered.

The patient, who had travelled to Nigeria, arrived at Blackpool Victoria Hospital with symptoms of the disease, Public Health England (PHE) said.

"Once the patient was recognised as having a contagious condition, they were rapidly transferred to an isolation unit to ensure minimal risk to staff and patients", a spokesman for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said.

PHE said the first patient was diagnosed last week in Cornwall in the southwest of England and is being treated in London, while the second one was being treated at an expert respiratory infectious disease center in Liverpool.

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

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Despite the UK's only two reported cases coming within just days of each other, PHE said it believes the infections are unrelated.

"The patient is being cared for on our specialist infectious and tropical diseases unit, by highly trained staff who are experienced in dealing with a variety of infectious diseases".

A rash can also develop, usually starting on the face before spreading to other parts of the body.

There was a sustained outbreak in Nigeria a year ago and there have been sporadic cases reported since then. "It is likely that monkeypox continues to circulate in Nigeria and could, therefore, affect travelers who are returning from this part of the world". Health officials are seeking to trace anyone who might have been in contact with the patient. "We are working hard to contact individuals, including healthcare workers, that might have come into contact with the individual to provide information and health advice", he said. It eventually forms a scab which falls off.

Both recently visited Nigeria where it is believed they contracted the virus.

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"All necessary precautions are being taken". While similar to smallpox, it is not as deadly.

Symptoms include fever, headache, aching muscles, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

The first case in a human was discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1970, and since cases have been reported in central and west African countries.

Monkeypox resides in wild animals but humans can catch it through direct contact with animals, such as handling monkeys, or eating inadequately cooked meat.

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