For the first time ever last week, the rare infection known as Monkeypox was diagnosed in the UK for a specific case in Cornwall.
An update from Public Health England has confirmed that just two days after the first case, another person has been diagnosed with the disease. However, PHE have said that the second case is completely unrelated.
Despite clarifying the situation some news outlets have tried to spread fear of the infection.
The first patient who was diagnosed was a Nigerian man from Cornwall who is currently receiving treatment at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
As for the second patient, it is believed that they caught the infection after coming back from Nigeria following a test confirming Monkeypox at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. Since then, the second patient has been transferred to the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.
“We know that in September 2017 Nigeria experienced a large sustained outbreak of Monkeypox and since then sporadic cases have continued to be reported,” said Dr Nick Phin, Deputy Director of the National Infection Service (PHE).
He believes that it is likely that Monkeypox affected those travelling back to the UK from Nigeria, adding that “it is very unusual to see 2 cases in such a relatively short space of time.”
Dr Mike Beadsworth from the from Tropical and Infectious Disease Unit has said that the positively tested patient is being treated “by highly trained staff who are experienced in dealing with a variety of infectious diseases”.
He further explained that “all necessary precautions are being taken by specialist staff and there is currently no risk to other staff, patients or visitors”, insisting that people continue to use services as normal.
The World Health Organization classifies Monkeypox as a “rare viral zoonotic disease” that primarily occurs near tropical rainforests situated in central and west Africa.
The disease, though milder than Smallpox, can be fatal. The fatality rates of Monkeypox outbreaks is between 1 to 10% and typically causes the most deaths in younger age groups.
Symptoms for this disease include rashes as well as lesions all over the human body and can last for two to three weeks.
Though there is no official treatment for the infection, the Smallpox vaccines has been proven effective in preventing Monkeypox despite being discontinued after the eradication of Smallpox in the 1980s.
For now the situation looks under control with the aid of specialist. However, if you or someone you know are showing symptoms of the infection, emergency services need to be informed immediately.