Monkeypox patient in UK hospital as health officials look for possible infected

A person in the UK is being treated for a case of monkeypox which they caught while abroad.

The individual is believed to have caught the rare disease while in Nigeria before returning to the UK.

It is caused by the monkeypox virus and is mainly reported in central and west African countries, the Nottingham Post reported .

The patient is currently being treated at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, where they are receiving specialist care. 

Public Health England is contacting people who may have been in contact with the individual to provide health advice.

Some of those being contacted travelled on the same flight as the passenger back to the UK.

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Dr Meera Chand, consultant microbiologist at PHE, said: "Monkeypox does not spread easily between people and the overall risk to the general public is very low.

"We are following up with those who have had close contact with the patient to offer advice and to monitor them as necessary." 

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.

Initial symptoms 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. The rash changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab, which later falls off.

Although rare, this is not the first time that the virus has been detected in the UK, with the first reported cases of monkeypox in September 2018.

The disease was first identified in 1958 in crab-eating macaque monkeys.

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