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'Rare' Monkeypox Cases Have Been Spotted In The UK & Here's What We Know

"Rare and unusual.” 🦠

Global Staff Writer
A sick boy at the hospital getting his temperature checked.

A sick boy at the hospital getting his temperature checked.

The U.K. is dealing with reports of another rare virus popping up, and this time it's a handful of cases of monkeypox.

On May 7, The World Health Organization was first informed of a case that had been detected in a person who had recently travelled back from Nigeria.

A statement provided by the WHO said that the person had developed a rash on April 29 and arrived in the U.K. on May 4. They were immediately isolated as soon as the virus was detected.

However, it has since been confirmed by the U.K. Health Security Agency that they have detected four new cases of the disease, despite trying to chase it down and isolate it.

Three of the cases were detected in London, while one was found in northeast England, informed the news release.

Symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. Infected people can also develop rashes that look like chickenpox before becoming a scab and eventually falling off.

Officials say they haven't found a clear link between the four new cases and the first one, which was detected in a person who arrived from Nigeria.

The four cases were all detected in men who were infected in London and identified as gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men.

In total, officials say there are seven confirmed cases of monkeypox in the U.K. and the patients were diagnosed between May 6 to May 15.

However, health officials say there is not much to be worried about as the risk to the public still remains low, reported the BBC. The virus does not spread easily among people, although it does spread through close contact.

The disease is usually associated with travel to West Africa.

The Chief Medical Adviser for UKHSA, Dr. Susan Hopkins, called the disease "rare and unusual."

She added that the "UKHSA is rapidly investigating the source of these infections because the evidence suggests that there may be transmission of the monkeypox virus in the community, spread by close contact."

"We are particularly urging men who are gay and bisexual to be aware of any unusual rashes or lesions and to contact a sexual health service without delay," said Hopkins.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

    Sameen Chaudhry
    Global Staff Writer
    Sameen Chaudhry is a Staff Writer for Narcity’s Global Desk focused on TikTok drama and is based in Toronto, Ontario.
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