A case of monkey pox has been confirmed in a patient who recently travelled to Nigeria. Monkeypox is a rare viral disease present in Nigeria. People can contract the virus from an infected animal. They may be bitten or come into contact with an infected animal’s skin, blood or body fluids. Infected people can pass on the disease to others. Prevent infection by following good hygiene measures and avoiding contact with animals.
Authorities have not recommended any special precautions for the general public at this time.
If you have recently travelled to Central or Western Africa, and develop symptoms particularly flu-like illness, swollen lymph nodes or rash, notify your health care provider and mention your travel history.
If you plan on travelling to regions that have monkeypox as a health threat, discuss with a travel health consultant or reach out to an International SOS assistance centre.
When you are in a region that has monkeypox, do the following:
The patient is believed to have caught the virus in Nigeria, before travelling to the UK. They are being treated in isolation at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, London. Contact tracing is ongoing, including individuals on the same flight from Nigeria to London. Health officials have stated that the risk to the public is very low.
The first imported monkeypox cases in the UK where reported in 2018. Eight cases have been reported to date, mainly in patients who had a history of travel to Nigeria.
Nigeria has reported confirmed and suspected human cases of monkeypox from several states this year, including Federal Capital Territory, Adamawa, Edo, and Imo. Previously, travellers from Nigeria were confirmed to have monkeypox after arrival in Israel, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare viral disease predominantly found in central and western Africa. People get the disease through contact with an infected animal, which can occur in a number of ways. People may be bitten or come into contact with the animal’s blood or body fluids. Infection can also occur if a person touches the rash on an infected animal’s skin – which sometimes happens during food preparation. Infected people can pass the disease on to other people. Symptoms are similar to smallpox, but milder. They start out flu-like: fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes and a general feeling of discomfort and exhaustion. Within a few days, patients show a rash of raised bumps. The illness lasts two to four weeks. There is no specific treatment available for the disease. It is fatal in about 10 percent of all cases.
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