Investigation after monkey pox case in Cornwall


Published by <!––>Emma Carton<!––> at 7:54am 14th September 2018. (Updated at 7:56am 14th September 2018)

The first confirmed case was a patient visiting a naval base in the Duchy who travelled here from Nigeria.

Monkey pox is normally spread from animals to humans and cases have been reported in 26 of the country’s 36 states.

monkey pox
Two cases of monkey pox have been confirmed in the UK, including one in Cornwall, and Nigeria has launched an investigation

“Since the re-emergence of monkey pox in Nigeria in September 2017, NCDC has continued to receive reports and respond to cases of the disease from states across the country.

“Between September 2017 when the outbreak started and 31st of August 2018, a total of 262 suspected cases had been reported from 26 states.

“Of these, 113 have been confirmed in 16 states with seven deaths. The highest number of cases have been reported from states in the South-South region of Nigeria.

“Following the recent report of the two cases in the UK, NCDC has been working with the UK’s public health agency; Public Health England (PHE), the public health departments in the affected states and other partners in Nigeria to investigate these cases.

“The NCDC has also been working closely with states across the country to strengthen surveillance, detection and response to cases of monkey pox”.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control

Public Health England says there is no UK link between the patient diagnosed in Cornwall, who is currently receiving care at the Royal Free in London and the second case in Lancashsire.

“We know that in September 2017 Nigeria experienced a large sustained outbreak of monkey pox and, since then, sporadic cases have continued to be reported.

“It is likely that monkey pox 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.

“We are working hard to contact individuals, including healthcare workers, that might have come into contact with the individual to provide information and health advice”.

Dr Nick Phin, Deputy Director, National Infection Service at Public Health England

What do we know about monkey pox?

Initial symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body. The rash changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab, which later falls off.

Some people, however, can become seriously ill. Up to one in ten of those infected in Africa have died, according to studies.

There is currently no approved treatment for monkey pox, although health officials say the small pox vaccine is assumed to give some immunity against the disease.

“We are treating a patient who has tested positive for monkeypox. The patient is being cared for on our specialist infectious and tropical diseases unit, by highly trained staff who are experienced in dealing with a variety of infectious diseases.

“All necessary precautions are being taken by specialist staff and there is currently no risk to other staff, patients or visitors.

“We ask that people continue to use our services as normal and that people only come to our emergency department if their condition is serious and/or an emergency”.

Dr Mike Beadsworth, Clinical Director of the Tropical and Infectious Diseases Unit

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