LONDON (May 15, 2022) Two people have been diagnosed with monkey pox in London, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has confirmed.
The pair live in the same household and are not linked to another person who was diagnosed with the disease in England earlier this month.
The viral infection is similar to human smallpox and usually causes mild illness, with most people recovering within a few weeks.
One of the latest people to test positive is being treated at the expert infectious diseases unit at St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in London.
However, the other person is isolating and does not require hospital treatment, the UKHSA said.
Dr Colin Brown, director of clinical and emerging infections at the UKHSA, noted that it is important to remember the infection “does not spread easily between people and requires close personal contact” with someone who is symptomatic.
“The overall risk to the general public remains very low,” he added.
The case announced earlier this month was a person with a recent travel history from Nigeria, which is where they were believed to have contracted the infection.
At the time, the person was said to be receiving care at the infectious diseases unit at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London.
What are the symptoms?
The initial symptoms of monkey pox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion, according to the UKHSA.
A rash can also develop, which changes and goes through different stages before forming a scab, which later falls off.
According to the NHS, it is mainly spread by wild animals in parts of west or central Africa and the risk of catching it in the UK is very low.
According to Public Health England, the infection was first discovered in 1958 when outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in monkeys kept for research.
It was not until 1970 that the first human case was recorded.
Monkey Pox Reported In The USA
In 2021, two people in the United States was reported to have monkey pox after traveling in Nigeria. the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the cases were the first reported since 2003.
“According to the CDC, death rates in Africa have been as high as 10% of those infected. Plus, currently no treatment has proven to be safe and effective against monkey pox. So, public health authorities can’t monkey around whenever monkey pox makes any kind of appearance,” CBS13 WJZ report.
“This marks only the seventh time that documented human monkey pox infections have appeared outside the continent of Africa. The first time was in 2003 when an outbreak resulted in 47 confirmed cases across six states: Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Everyone who had gotten infected had one thing in common: they had contact with pet prairie dogs. Determining the source of the outbreak required some sleuthing because “have you had contact with a prairie dog” is not a commonly asked question after you say, “hi, nice to meet you” in most social situations.” reported Forbes.
“The second and third times that monkey pox made appearances outside Africa came in 2018 when there were three cases in the United Kingdom and one in Israel. The fourth time was the next year, with one case in Singapore. Then earlier this year the United Kingdom had 3 cases and the United States had one in July,” Forbes further reported.
Source: Sky News wrote the original article. Bee News Daily contributed.