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Monkeypox in Nigeria - Case identified in the UK

10 Sep 2018

Public Health England Link reports a case of monkeypox identified in a Nigerian traveller to the United Kingdom. The patient was staying on a naval base in Cornwall and has now been transferred to the Royal Free Hospital, London for appropriate care.

The patient is believed to have been infected in Nigeria before arriving in the UK.

Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion and a rash which can be mistaken for chickenpox.

Advice to Travellers

Monkeypox is a rare infection related to smallpox. It resembles the less severe variola minor form of smallpox and is generally fatal in only a minority of cases. Monkeypox is unusual in travellers and tends to occur in isolated rural or forest areas.

Nearly all cases have occurred in Central or West Africa, with only a few cases ever reported outside Africa. Most infections result from direct contact with the blood, body fluids, or cutaneous/ mucosal lesions of infected animals including monkeys, giant rats, squirrels and rabbits. Rodents are the major source of infection. Eating undercooked meat of infected animals is a possible risk factor.

There is no specific vaccine or treatment for monkeypox and prevention is by avoiding contact with infected animals and people.