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UK patient diagnosed with monkeypox, Public Health England confirm

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
The patient is being treated at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in London (Getty)

Public Health England (PHE) have confirmed that a person in the UK has been diagnosed with the rare viral infection monkeypox.

The patient is believed to have contracted the infection while visiting Nigeria and is currently being treated at the specialist high consequence infectious disease centre at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in London.

Close contacts of the patient, including those who travelled in close proximity to them on the flight from Nigeria to the UK, are being contacted.

Dr Meera Chand, consultant microbiologist at PHE, said monkeypox "is a rare viral infection that does not spread easily between people and the risk to the general public in England is very low”.

Monkeypox can cause rashes and spots on the skin that form scabs (Getty)

PHE added: "It is usually a self-limiting illness and most people recover within a few weeks.

"However, severe illness can occur in some individuals."

PHE said the patient was staying in south-west England before they were transferred to Guy's and St Thomas'.

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It said it is working with the NHS to implement "rapid infection control procedures, including contacting people who might have been in close contact with the individual".

This is not the first time that the virus has been detected in the UK.

PHE reported three cases of monkeypox in the UK in September 2018.

In most cases, monkeypox will resolve on its own and have no long-term effects on a person's health (Wikipedia)

The first two were in people who had travelled from Africa and the third was a healthcare worker who cared for one patient. The worker became infected before monkeypox was suspected.

In most cases, monkeypox will resolve on its own and have no long-term effects on a person's health.

Initial symptoms include a fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

People can suffer a rash, 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. The spots eventually form scabs which later fall off, according to the NHS website.

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