London, May 15 (IABS) The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) confirmed that two more individuals have been diagnosed with monkeypox in London.
One of the cases is receiving care at the expert infectious disease unit at St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London. The other case is isolating and does not currently require hospital treatment.
This comes after the agency officials on May 7 announced a the first cases of a person who had recently travelled to Nigeria, where he is believed to have caught the virus before coming to the UK.
While the new cases live together in the same household, they are not linked to the previous confirmed case, the UKHSA said, adding investigations are ongoing to understand where and how the new people acquired their infection.
“We have confirmed two new monkeypox cases in England that are not linked to the case announced on May 7,” said Dr Colin Brown, Director of Clinical and Emerging Infections, UKHSA, in a statement.
“It is important to emphasise that it does not spread easily between people and requires close personal contact with an infected symptomatic person. The overall risk to the general public remains very low,” he added.
Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not spread easily between people. It is usually a mild self-limiting illness and most people recover within a few weeks. However, severe illness can occur in some people.
Initial symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion.
A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body, particularly the hands and feet.
The rash changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab, which later falls off.
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.
People without symptoms are not considered infectious but, as a precaution, those who have been in close proximity to the individuals are being contacted to ensure that, if they do become unwell, they can be treated quickly, the officials said.
The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) during a period of intensified effort to eliminate smallpox. Since then, monkeypox has been reported in people in several other central and western African countries.
Outside Africa cases have been detected in the US, Israel, and Singapore.
The UK first recorded the human case in 2018, and since then a handful of cases have been confirmed by health authorities.