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Patient diagnosed with monkeypox in England

The patient is receiving care at the expert infectious disease unit at the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London (Aaron Chown/PA)
The patient is receiving care at the expert infectious disease unit at the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London (Aaron Chown/PA)

An individual has been diagnosed with monkeypox in England, health bosses have said.

The patient has a recent travel history from Nigeria, which is where they are believed to have contracted the infection, before travelling to the UK.

They are now receiving care at the expert infectious disease unit at the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London.

Experts at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) are monitoring the case and working closely with NHS colleagues to contact people who might have been in close contact with the individual.

Dr Colin Brown, director of clinical and emerging infections at the UKHSA, said: “It is important to emphasise that monkeypox does not spread easily between people and the overall risk to the general public is very low.

“We are working with NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) to contact the individuals who have had close contact with the case prior to confirmation of their infection, to assess them as necessary and provide advice.”

“UKHSA and the NHS have well-established and robust infection control procedures for dealing with cases of imported infectious disease and these will be strictly followed.”

The first UK case of monkeypox was recorded in September 2018. The individual was also believed to have contracted the infection in Nigeria.

Initial symptoms include fever, headache, aching muscles, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

A rash can also develop, usually starting on the face before spreading to other parts of the body. It eventually forms a scab which falls off.

PHE said monkeypox does not spread easily and most patients recover within a few weeks, but it can cause severe illness in some people.

Dr Nicholas Price, director NHSEI high consequence infection diseases (airborne) network and consultant in infectious diseases at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “The patient is being treated in our specialist isolation unit at St Thomas’ Hospital by expert clinical staff with strict infection prevention procedures.

“This is a good example of the way that the high consequence infectious diseases national network and UKHSA work closely together in responding swiftly and effectively to these sporadic cases.”

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