More monkeypox cases detected in England

pharmafile | May 18, 2022 | News story | Research and Development  

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) says the risk presented by monkeypox to the public remains very low, though it appears that the four more people positively diagnosed with monkeypox caught the viral infection in the UK. The new numbers bring the total cases in the UK up to seven.

Three of the four new cases were detected in London, and one in the North-East of England. Common contacts have been established for two of the four people who caught the virus. The cases do not however appear to be connected to the cases diagnosed earlier this month, leading to concerns about community transmission of the virus. 

A handful of cases have previously been diagnosed in the UK, with the first recorded in 2018 in an individual thought to have contracted the virus in Nigeria. 

The UKHSA has shared that anyone worried they may be infected should call a healthcare professional, but should make contact with the clinic or surgery prior to the visit.

Monkeypox is a viral infection usually found in Central and Western Africa. 

There are two forms of the virus, a milder West African strain, and a more severe Central African strain. The recently diagnosed individuals in England are believed to have contracted the milder West African strain.

Symptoms resulting from infection with monkeypox usually take between five and 21 days to appear, and include fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, muscle aches, backache, and exhaustion. A rash usually appears one-five days after the emergence of the first symptoms, and begins on the face, then spreads to other parts of the body.

While the virus is not easily transmissible between people, it can be spread through touching the skin blisters or scabs of a person infected with monkeypox, the coughs or sneezes of a person with the monkeypox rash, and touching the bedding, clothing or towels used by someone with the monkeypox rash.

Following the recent rise in case numbers, the UKHSA is working closely with NHS partners to identify any more cases, and is working with international partners to examine whether other countries have seen a similar rise in monkeypox.

Ana Ovey

Related Content

No items found

Latest content