Case of monkeypox confirmed in Blackpool

Alicia Farmer
September 13, 2018

The first ever cases of monkeypox in the United Kingdom have been recorded in the past week.

Public Health England (PHE) can confirm that a second individual has been diagnosed with monkeypox in Blackpool.

The trust - which runs Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble hospitals - tweeted: "Please be aware that the story being spread in the area that a patient is being treated for monkeypox at the Royal Preston Hospital has been confirmed as FAKE NEWS by LancsHospitals today".

Second UK case of monkeypox diagnosed at Blackpool hospitalBut this afternoon, bosses at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals said there had been no cases in Preston or Chorley, contrary to rumour.

But experts emphasized that, despite its relation to the notoriously deadly smallpox, monkeypox is actually a very mild illness, and it doesn't spread easily between people.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed this on Wednesday, saying it is working with UK's public health agency to investigate the cases.

The second patient was being treated in the tropical and infectious diseases unit of Royal Liverpool University hospital.

He assured that the staff, other patients and their visitors are safe from getting the infection from this patient.

Nick Phin, deputy director of the national infection service at PHE, said the monkeypox virus was likely to be circulating in Nigeria after a large outbreak there in 2017, and could therefore affect travellers returning to Britain.

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Symptoms usually appear within five and 21 days of infection.

"The patient is being cared for on our specialist infectious and tropical diseases unit, by highly trained staff who are experienced in dealing with a variety of infectious diseases", he said.

Sufferers normally experience a rash alongside symptoms of fever, headache, aching muscles, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

Monkeypox, which is related to chickenpox and smallpox, was first found in 1958 among laboratory monkeys.

"It is a rare disease caused by monkeypox virus and has been reported mainly in central and west African countries".

"We are working hard to contact individuals, including healthcare workers, who might have come into contact with the individual to provide information and health advice". While similar to smallpox, it is not as deadly.

"The symptoms of Monkeypox may last for two to four weeks, while the transmission is via direct contact with infected animals, human or contaminated materials". "Most people recover within several weeks", he added.

"We are also in collaboration with other agencies where we meet weekly to ensure coordination".

There was a sustained outbreak in Nigeria previous year and there have been sporadic cases reported since then.

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