Monkeypox: Matt Hancock says there's a 'UK outbreak'
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The rare virus has been detected in North Wales, with Public Health Wales confirmed two members of the same household had developed the illness after one of them caught it while abroad. Richard Firth, Consultant in Health Protection at Public Health Wales, said: “Confirmed cases of monkeypox are a rare event in the UK, and the risk to the general public is very low.
“We have worked with multi-agency colleagues, following tried and tested protocols and procedures, and identified all close contacts.
“Actions have been put in place to minimise the likelihood of further infection.”
“Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus and has been reported mainly in central and West African countries.
“Monkeypox, in most cases, is a mild condition which will resolve on its own and have no long-term effects on a person’s health.
“Most people recover within a few weeks.”
What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not spread easily among humans.
Generally, it is a mild condition that resolves itself and has no long-term impact on a person’s health.
The virus is an orthopoxvirus – meaning it is transmitted to people from wild animals, and can rarely be passed from human to human.
What are the symptoms?
For most people, the symptoms are similar to flu – including fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.
In certain cases, a rash develops which often begins on the face before spreading to other parts of the body.
The rash changes from raised red bumps to spots filled with fluid.
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The spots eventually form scabs which later fall off, according to the NHS website.
While human-to-human transmission is unlikely, it is possible.
A person can pick up the virus by coming into contact with items used by the infected person or touching them.
Monkeypox is not unheard of in the UK – in December 2019 a person in England was diagnosed with monkeypox and was treated at the specialist high consequence infectious disease centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London.
A year before this, in September 2018, three cases of monkeypox were reported in the UK.
The NHS advises: “When there is a case, health professionals will aim to contact anyone who has been in close contact with the infected person.
“If you have not been contacted, be reassured you are extremely unlikely to catch monkeypox.”
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