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Second patient diagnosed with monkeypox in England

13 September 2018

"When tests confirmed it was the Monkeypox virus the patient was transferred to Liverpool as per our standard guidelines".

Dr Michael Jacobs, clinical director of infection at the Royal Free Hospital, said in most cases it disappears on its own and patients have no long-term health effects.

"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 Nick Phin, Public Health England's National Infection Service deputy director.

"However, it is very unusual to see two cases in such a relatively short space of time", he said in a statement. The virus lives in animals, including primates and rodents, but can sometimes "jump" from animals to people, the World Health Organization says.

"So, just to reassure those who have not yet realised this post is actually a (bad) joke, WE ARE NOT treating any individual for monkeypox at Royal Preston Hospital".

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection similar to human smallpox, which has been eradicated in the 1980s.

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The virus can enter the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract, or the eyes, nose or mouth.

Health officials are seeking to trace anyone who might have been in contact with the patient.

"Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting from 14 to 21 days". It proceeds to scab off and then falls off.

Yet, the disease is deadly in up to 10 per cent of cases, particularly if a young person is affected. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) advised against any restriction on travel in the area at the time as it said there was a "low risk" that global travellers would come into contact with the infection.

The latest patient became ill in Blackpool after a visit to Nigeria and was transferred to a specialist unit at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

"The trust is now supporting all staff who cared for the patient".

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'All necessary precautions are being taken by specialist staff and there is now no risk to other staff, patients or visitors. "We ask that people continue to use our services as normal".

The monkeypox virus was first discovered in 1958 when outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in monkeys kept for research, says the United Kingdom government website's infectious diseases portal.

Monkeypox is related to smallpox, but is less infectious and less deadly.

"It is a rare disease caused by monkeypox virus and has been reported mainly in central and west African countries". Soon after, patients develop a "pox" rash, with lesions that often appear over the face and trunk.

The virus is mostly spread by rodents and can jump to humans if they eat or handle infected meat.

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Second patient diagnosed with monkeypox in England