Highlights

  • Monkeypox virus infection reported from the UK
  • Patient in hospital; had travelled to Nigeria
  • Monkeypox spreads from wild rodents in Africa

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Monkeypox virus infection reported in UK amid Covid: see how it spreads, symptoms

Monkeypox: human-to-human transmission is rare but it can occur if patient's clothing, bedding, or towels are touched.

Amid the Covid pandemic, a case of the monkeypox virus infecting a person has grabbed headlines in the United Kingdom. Monkeypox is a rare infection spread by wild animals in parts of west or central Africa, as per UK's National Health Service (NHS).

The patient in UK suffering from monkeypox had a travel history to Nigeria, and is now receiving care at the expert infectious disease unit at the Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in London.

Human-to-human transmission is rare in the disease, but it does occur. It's possible to catch the disease from an infected person if their clothing, bedding, or towels are touched. Touching a patient's skin blisters or scabs, or their coughs and sneezes can also spread the virus.

A person can catch monkeypox by getting bitten by an infected animal, or touching its blood, body fluids, spots, blisters, or scabs. It's also possible to get infected by eating the animal's meat in case it's not cooked properly.

The initial symptoms include fever, headache, muscle ache, swollen glands, chills, and exhaustion. A rash can appear between the first and fifth day, beginning from the face. The rash turns into blisters which fall off as scabs.

The symptoms can clear up in 2 to 4 weeks, as per the NHS. Severe illness can occur in some individuals.

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