The United Kingdom says it identified a case of monkeypox.
Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not spread easily between people. It is usually a mild self-limiting illness and most people recover within a few weeks. However, severe illness can occur in some individuals.
The infection can be spread when someone is in close contact with an infected person; however, there is a very low risk of transmission to the general population.
According to a statement by the UK health security agency, “the patient has a recent travel history from Nigeria, which is where they are believed to have contracted the infection, before travelling to the UK”.
The agency said the patient is receiving care at the expert infectious disease unit at the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London.
“As a precautionary measure, UKHSA experts are working closely with NHS colleagues and will be contacting people who might have been in close contact with the individual to provide information and health advice,” the statement reads.
“This includes contacting a number of passengers who travelled in close proximity to the patient on the same flight to the UK.
“People without symptoms are not considered infectious but, as a precaution, those who have been in close proximity are being contacted to ensure that if they do become unwell they can be treated quickly. If passengers are not contacted then there is no action they should take.”
The first-ever recorded occurrence of the virus in the UK was in two persons in 2018, who had also recently returned from Nigeria. Since then, five more cases have been confirmed in UK.
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), a total of 13 suspected cases has been reported between January 1 to February 28, 2022.
Of the suspected cases, four were confirmed from four states — FCT (1), Imo (1), Adamawa (1) and Lagos (1) — but no death has been recorded.