UK News

Monkeypox virus hits the UK – How to catch it and how easily does it spread? | United Kingdom | News UK News

Cases of monkeypox, which is a viral infection linked to smallpox, are rising in the UK as a total of seven people were reported to have been confirmed diagnosed on Monday, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). Three new cases have been detected in London, along with another in the northeast of England.

The UKHSA said investigations were currently underway to establish links between the latest four cases, all of which appear to have been infected in London.

Common contacts have already been identified for two of the four patients so far, however, none of the recent cases appear to have known links to the three cases confirmed last week.

In an update published on Monday, the UKHSA said: “Due to the recent increase in cases and the uncertainties as to where some of these people acquired their infection, we are working closely with partners in the NHS to determine if there may have been more cases in recent weeks. , as well as international partners to understand if similar increases have been seen in other countries.

Patients in need of medical attention are currently being treated in specialist infectious disease units at the Royal Free Hospital, the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne as well as units at Guys’ and St Thomas’.

These patients are said to have the West African clade of the virus, which is mild compared to the Central African clade.

What is monkeypox and how do you catch it?

Monkeypox is a viral infection mainly spread by wild animals in parts of West or Central Africa, according to the NHS website.

The infection is thought to be spread by rodents, such as rats, mice and squirrels, and you can catch it from an infected animal if you touch its blood, body fluids, spots, blisters or its scabs.

It is also possible to catch the infection by eating meat from an infected animal that has not been thoroughly cooked, or by touching its skin or fur.

Through humans, the virus can be spread by touching clothing, bedding, or towels used by someone with monkeypox, by touching blisters or scabs on monkeypox skin, or by coughing or sneezing of the infected person.

How easily does monkeypox spread?

The risk of catching monkeypox from an infected person remains very low, as the virus is said not to spread easily between people. Only very close contact with infected people would put you at risk.

However, the UKHSA said that while the most recent cases to emerge in the UK have been found in gay, bisexual and other MSM communities, they are advising these particular groups to be alert for any unusual rashes or lesions on their body.

Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser at UKHSA, said: ‘It’s rare and unusual. The UKHSA is rapidly investigating the source of these infections as evidence suggests there may be transmission of monkeypox virus in the community, spread by close contact.

“We particularly urge gay and bisexual men to be aware of any unusual rashes or lesions and to contact a sexual health service without delay.

“We are contacting all potential close contacts of cases to provide health information and advice.

“Clinicians should be alert to people presenting with rashes without a clear alternative diagnosis and should contact specialist services for advice.”

What are the symptoms of monkeypox?

Early symptoms of monkeypox may include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion.

A rash is said to develop about one to five days after the first symptoms appear, starting on the face before spreading to other parts of the body.

The eruption is said to go through stages; starting as raised spots, which turn into small fluid-filled blisters. These blisters quickly form scabs, which later fall off.

It is usually a mild, self-limiting condition, meaning it can resolve without treatment and symptoms tend to resolve within two to four weeks.

However, infected people will usually need to stay in a specialist hospital to ensure that the infection does not spread further.

If you are concerned that you may be infected with monkeypox, the UKHSA advises you seek medical advice, but be sure to contact your local clinic before your visit.

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2022-05-17 11:29:33

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *