Monkeypox: Rare case reported in England, UKHSA says


A rare case of monkey pox has been identified in a patient in England, the UK Health Security Agency said in a statement on Saturday.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that doesn’t spread easily between people, the agency said, and qualified the overall risk to the general public as “very low.”

“The infection can be spread when someone is in close contact with an infected person; however, there is a very low risk of transmission to the general population,” the statement read.

The patient is believed to have contracted the infection in Nigeria, the UKHSA said, before traveling to the UK recently. He or she will be treated in London at the expert infectious disease and isolation unit of the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

According to the UKHSA, early symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

The UKHSA said it would contact people “who may have been in close contact with the person to provide information and health advice” as a precautionary measure.

Monkeypox is a relative of smallpox, which was eradicated in 1979, but is less transmissible and less deadly. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “The main difference between the symptoms of smallpox and monkeypox is that monkeypox causes lymph nodes to swell, while smallpox does not.”

Rodents, including those kept as pets, and monkeys can carry monkey pox and transmit it to humans. The CDC investigated one case last year in a traveler to Dallas.

Forty-seven people in the US became infected with the virus in 2003 in an outbreak traced to a shipment of small mammals from Ghana that were sold as pets. In 2018, there was a smaller outbreak in Great Britain.

Leave a Comment