United Kingdom has recorded the second cases of Monekypox within days of the first case. This second case was a patient who tested positive for the virus at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. He has travelled to Nigeria recently from where he could have contracted the infection says the Public Health England. At present he has been shifted to Liverpool University Hospital for further treatment.
The MonkeyPox virus is a cousin to smallpox, and although not as deadly, produces fever, rashes, and sometimes can be lethal - killing 1 in 10 of its victims. And there is no cure.
The index case of Monkeypox or the first case was from Cornwall and was also in a patient who had visited Nigeria. He too had contracted the viral infection during his stay in Nigeria. This virus usually does not spread easily from animals to humans. At present the PHE has said in a statement the there is no connection between these two patients and the second patient could not have contracted the infection from the first.
In a statement Dr Mike Beadsworth, clinical director of the Tropical and Infectious Diseases Unit at Liverpool University Hospital, said, “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 assured that the staff, other patients and their visitors are safe from getting the infection from this patient.
According to a statement from Dr Nick Phin, deputy director of the PHE's National Infection Service, Nigeria faced a sustained outbreak of Monekypox in September 2017 and since then they have seen frequent one off cases. Since 2017 there have been 89 reported cases and 6 deaths associated with Monekypox infection in Nigeria. He said, “It is likely that monkeypox continues to circulate in Nigeria and could therefore affect travellers who are returning from this part of the world, however, it is very unusual to see two cases in such a relatively short space of time.”He said that the PHE is trying to assess all the contacts of these two patients to assess for spread of the infection.
Monekypox is a viral infection that usually resolves by itself within a few weeks. Severe illness however can be seen in some individuals. Around 1 to 10 percent of the infected can go on to develop serious illness that may even be fatal. It has been seen to affect humans rarely and some cases have been reported in central and western African countries. Human-to-human transmission is rarely seen and those with the infection typically manifest with fever, chills, headache, body ache, muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue etc. As the disease progresses a rash may develop over the face and other parts of the body. It proceeds to scab off and then falls off.
At present the officials at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control are also investigating the cases of Monekypox there. A spokesperson in a statement said, “The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control is aware of a reported case of Monkeypox in the UK with a travel history from Nigeria. We'll collaborate with Public Health England to investigate this case. We reassure Nigerians of our capacity to diagnose & manage Monkeypox cases. We will continue working with all our partners to strengthen our surveillance system, protect the health of all Nigerians and ensure global health security.”