What is monkeypox , what are the symptoms and how did it get to the UK?

·3-min read
What is monkeypox , what are the symptoms and how did it get to the UK?

As of 1 August 2022, there are 2,672 confirmed and 87 highly probable monkeypox cases in the UK: 2,759 in total. Of these, 2,638 are in England.

In the capital, there are now 18 clinics offering vaccinations.

The UKHSA said that monkeypox appears to be spreading from person to person in England.

The usually mild viral disease, which is endemic in west and central Africa, is understood to spread through close contact. Until early May, cases rarely cropped up outside Africa and were typically linked to travel to there.

According to the UKHSA, the majority of cases in the United Kingdom are known to be in gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men.

The initial case involved a person who had returned from travel to Nigeria.

The UK government has purchased supplies of smallpox vaccine to protect people from monkeypox.

The disease, which is similar to smallpox, is usually found in central and West Africa, but it does not spread easily between humans and most people recover within a few weeks.

With more than 23,200 confirmed cases of monkeypox around the globe, the World Health Organization is meeting to determine whether the spread of the virus should be considered a “public health emergency of international concern.”

But what exactly is monkeypox and what symptoms should you be aware of? Here's everything you need to know:

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with monkeypox virus.

Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 during an outbreak of pox-like disease in monkeys--which is why it is called monkeypox.

The first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and since then the infection has been reported in a number of central and western African countries.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

What are the symptoms?

The illness begins with:

  • fever

  • headache

  • muscle aches

  • backache

  • swollen lymph nodes

  • chills

  • exhaustion

Within 1 to 5 days after getting a fever, a rash develops, often beginning on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body, such as the hands and soles of the feet.

The rash will finally form a scab before falling off.

Is it deadly?

Monkeypox symptoms tend to be mild and the virus is rarely fatal. However, India recorded its first death due to the virus in the southern state of Kerala. The victim was a 22-year-old man who’d recently returned from the United Arab Emirates.

The man’s death is the first due to Monkeypox in Asia, where several countries have reported outbreaks of the viral infection that has been declared a global public health emergency by the World Health Organisation.

How do you prevent monkeypox?

Generally, the risk of infection unlikely.

Dr Michael Jacobs, clinical director of infection at Royal Free Hospital, said monkeypox "does not spread easily between people and the risk of transmission to the wider public is very low."

Still, the best way to avoid infection is to regularly wash hands after caring for sick people.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting