Following the identification of the first ever case of monkeypox in England earlier this month, health officials have said that a second person has been identified with the infection.
According to Public Health England (PHE), the first case was in a patient who was a resident of Nigeria when the virus was most likely contracted. The most recent case is in a patient who is believed to have picked up the infection while visiting Nigeria; it was diagnosed at Blackpool Victoria Hospital when the person returned home and fell ill.
Symptoms of the infectious disease begin with fatigue, fever, headache, muscle pains and swollen lymph nodes, followed by a rash that forms blisters and crusts over. Monkeypox mostly occurs in Central and West Africa. Unfortunately, there is no treatment that has been shown to be effective or safe.
Health officials said that although infection is usually mild, and the disease doesn’t spread easily, severe cases can be fatal. The patient has been transferred to a specialist infectious disease unit at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.
“We know that in September 2017 Nigeria experienced a large sustained outbreak of monkeypox and since then sporadic cases have continued to be reported,” said Dr Nick Phin, Deputy Director of PHE’s National Infection Service. “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.”