Monkeypox: 2nd case diagnosed in England, ‘very unusual’

In humans the signs and symptoms of monkeypox are similar to those of smallpox but usually milder

In humans the signs and symptoms of monkeypox are similar to those of smallpox but usually milder Credit Science VU

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NCDC chief executive, Chikwe Ihekweazu, says the centre is working with Public Health England, the UK's public health agency, to investigate the two reported cases.

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

Second UK case of monkeypox diagnosed at Blackpool hospitalBut this afternoon, bosses at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals said there had been no cases in Preston or Chorley, contrary to rumour.

"However, it is very unusual to see 2 cases in such a relatively short space of time", said Dr. Phin.

"A Technical Working Group coordinated by NCDC and comprising of partners from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF and U.S. Centres for Disease Control (US-CDC)".

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

Two monkeypox patients with travel history from Nigeria are now being treated in the UK.

Besides medical staff, PHE said it was trying to contact passengers who were near the first patient on the flight to the UK. The virus is similar to human smallpox, which was eradicated in 1980. It has mostly been reported in central and west African countries.

There have however been more major outbreaks, with the most recent just over a year ago in The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Transmission is via direct contact with infected animals, human, or contaminated materials. "However, severe illness can occur in some individuals".

"We therefore, encourage any healthcare worker that suspects a case of Monkeypox to reach out to their State Epidemiology team for appropriate action".

Clinical director of the hospital's tropical and infectious diseases unit, Dr Mike Beadsworth, said there was "currently no risk to other staff, patients or visitors". The public health institute adds that in Africa, where cases often go untreated, the disease "has been shown to cause death in as many as one in ten persons" who contract it.

The disease was first discovered in monkeys kept for research 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.

It is believed this outbreak was spread by Gambian rodents, which had become a popular pet in the country at the time. The infection had never previously been diagnosed in the United Kingdom, PHE said. They emphasize that there does not appear to be a connection between the two patients, despite the suspect timing.

It is usually a mild self-limiting illness and most people recover within a few weeks, PHE said. Public Health England did not disclose the patient's age or gender, or whether he or she is a member of the military, according to The Guardian.

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