An outbreak of monkeypox has been confirmed in the UK. Two cases were reported in Wales, with the Health Secretary confirming these incidents this week. The viral disease often produces pox-like lesions on the skin, but can monkeypox kill you?
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare virus most often found in central and west African countries.
Most cases have been detected in Africa, with the risk of contracting the disease in the UK very low.
Typically, the virus is a mild illness which will get better on its own without treatment.
Public Health Wales confirmed one person had been infected abroad and the two patients were from the same household.
Both patients were admitted to a specialist hospital, but one has since been released.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the outbreak in Wales on Thursday.
He told MPs: “The tracing and isolation system was essentially built for very important but very small outbreaks.
“As Health Secretary you’re dealing with these sorts of outbreaks all of the time.
“I’m currently dealing with a monkeypox outbreak and cases of drug-resistant TB and that is absolutely standard and the lack of that capability at the start meant that the options that we had were fewer.”
PHW’s consultant in health protection Richard Firth said: “Confirmed cases of monkeypox are a rare event in the UK, and the risk to the general public is very low.
“We have worked with multi-agency colleagues, following tried and tested protocols and procedures, and identified all close contacts.
“Actions have been put in place to minimise the likelihood of further infection.
“”Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus and has been reported mainly in central and West African countries.”
Public Health Wales confirmed the risk to the wider public is “low”.
The virus was first reported in the UK in September 2018.
It is regarded as a mild illness generally, with no long-term impacts on health.
Often it can take a few weeks to recover fully, without the need for treatment.
Can monkeypox kill you?
The virus is similar to smallpox and can be fatal, but is considerably milder in the vast majority of cases.
Monkeypox can be fatal in up to 10 percent of cases according to health officials.
The fatality rate ranges from 15 to 20 percent in children in Africa according to medicinenet.com.
The symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion and backache.
In addition, it is possible to develop a rash.
This rash usually develops between one and five days after symptoms first appear.
The rash tends to begin on the face before spreading to other parts of the body.
Where does monkeypox come from?
Monkeypox is a rare disease, the risk of catching it in the UK is very low. But, after two cases were identified in Britain in the past week should you be concerned? Here is all you need to know about the disease and how to identify it.
The virus was first discovered in 1958 when the disease appeared among monkeys being used for research.
The first recorded case of monkeypox in humans was reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970.
Outbreaks of the pox now repeatedly occur in several central and western African countries.
Outbreaks tend to appear in regions close to tropical rainforests.
Officials have confirmed the recent case was first contracted aboard and then brought to the UK when one of the patients returned home.
The disease was then passed on to one other person, the second case recorded was a member of the first patient’s household.
Both were admitted to a hospital in England for treatment, one of the patients is still receiving treatment there.
Public Health Wales is tracing those who might have come into contact with these patients.
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
The pox usually causes a mild illness that gets better on its own without treatment.
Monkeypox symptoms start with:
A rash often starts one to five days after the first symptoms appear.
These spots normally begin on the face before spreading to other parts of the body.
Although the illness tends to be mild sometimes those infected can develop more serious symptoms.
If you think you may have come into contact with someone who has had it and you are now experiencing some of the symptoms listed above you should seek medical assistance.
Post source Daily Express
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