Now the UK is hit by MONKEYPOX: Two patients in North Wales test positive for the killer virus they caught abroad
- Matt Hancock told MPs that two cases of monkey pox have been discovered in the UK
- Public Health Wales confirms two people infected the disease overseas
- The virus causes a blistering rash, fever, and flu-like symptoms
Two cases of the fatal monkey pox have been confirmed in the UK, it became known today.
The Minister of Health described the situation as “absolutely standard” and insisted that he deal with “these outbreaks” on an ongoing basis. However, he did not provide any information on how many patients were infected or whether the virus was spreading in the UK alongside the coronavirus.
Public Health Wales later confirmed that “two cases of imported monkey pox” had been discovered. Both patients were from the same North Wales household, but no age or gender was provided. Only one is still being treated in the hospital.
Health officials also didn’t reveal which country the couple caught the virus in – but monkey pox is mostly found in central and west Africa.
MailOnline assumes that the patients were knocked down at the beginning of May and have already quarantined themselves due to Covid’s travel guidelines.
The rare tropical disease that causes flu-like symptoms and blisters on the skin is caused by a virus spread by monkeys, rats, squirrels, and other small mammals. It can be spread through skin contact, coughing and sneezing, and touching contaminated clothing or bedding.
Debating the tracing and isolation system in front of MPs on the Health and Special Committee today, Mr Hancock said it was “essentially built for very important but very small outbreaks”.
“As the Minister of Health, you have to deal with such outbreaks all the time,” he said.
“I’m currently dealing with monkeypox outbreaks and drug-resistant TB cases and that is the standard.”
But he didn’t provide any further details about how many cases had been discovered or where infected patients lived.
Public Health Wales then confirmed at 1 p.m. that it had detected two cases.
It stated: “The index case was acquired abroad and the two cases belong to the same household.
“Both cases were admitted to a hospital in England, where one is currently located.” The agency did not disclose when the other patient was discharged.
Monkey pox can be caught by a variety of mammals, including monkeys and rats, causing patches of skin that then turn into blisters and can take weeks to clear (stock photo)
The Minister of Health today gave evidence to MPs on how the pandemic was being handled and casually confirmed that the killer virus had been discovered
“The monitoring and follow-up of the cases and their close contacts is normal practice and the risk to the general public is very low.”
Richard Firth, a health advisor for Public Health Wales, said that “confirmed cases of monkey pox in the UK are a rare occurrence and the risk to the general public is very low”.
Monkey pox cases were first identified in the UK in 2018 when three people contracted the infection in separate cases in Cornwall, Blackpool and Liverpool.
A person was recently diagnosed with the virus in south-west England in December 2019 after a visit to Nigeria. They were treated by specialists from St. Thomas’ Hospital Trust in central London.
Other cases were confirmed in the US in 2003 after patients came into close contact with some dogs infected by African rodents.
Up to 10% of people who get monkey pox will die, and most deaths from the virus occur in younger age groups, according to the WHO.
Symptoms usually last two to four weeks, and cases can get more serious depending on exposure to the virus, the health of the infected person, and subsequent complications.
These can include secondary infections such as bronchopneumonia, sepsis, and corneal infections, which can lead to loss of vision.
No specific treatment is recommended for monkey pox, but the smallpox protection vaccine has been found to be about 85% effective in preventing the virus.
WHAT IS MONKEYPOX?
Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that causes a blistering rash and febrile, flu-like symptoms.
The virus responsible for the disease occurs mainly in the tropical areas of West and Central Africa.
Monkey pox was first discovered in 1958, the first reported human case in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970. Human cases were first recorded in the US in 2003 and in the UK in September 2018.
It is found in wildlife, but humans can catch it through direct contact with animals, e.g. B. by touching monkeys, squirrels, rats or other mammals or by eating poorly cooked meat.
The virus can enter the body through broken skin or eyes, nose, or mouth.
It can get between people through airborne droplets and by touching an infected person’s skin or by touching objects that have been contaminated by them.
Symptoms usually appear within five and 21 days of infection. These include a fever, headache, muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and fatigue.
The most obvious symptom is a rash, which usually appears on the face before spreading to other parts of the body. This then forms skin lesions that scab and fall off.
Monkeypox is usually mild, with most patients recovering within a few weeks without treatment. However, the disease can often be fatal.
According to the World Health Organization, there are no specific treatments or vaccines for the monkey pox infection.