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Monkeypox in the UK

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    Posted: September 08 2018 at 2:54pm
Monkeypox warning as the first ever case of the potentially fatal disease is reported in the UK

The victim is believed to have contracted the infection from their homeland of Nigeria, before travelling to the UK last week

A warning has been issued over monkeypox after a person in Cornwall has been diagnosed with the rare, potentially fatal disease.

The victim is currently receiving specialist medical care in hospital for the viral infection that can be transmitted to humans from animals, such as rodents and primates.

It is the first time ever this infection has been diagnosed in the UK, Public Health England (PHE) said.

The patient, whose gender has not been revealed, was staying at a naval base in Cornwall where they became ill.

They were then transferred to the expert infectious disease unit at the Royal Free Hospital, London, and are believed to be undergoing an incubation period.

The victim is thought to have contracted the infection from their homeland of Nigeria, before travelling to the UK last week.

As a precautionary measure, people who might have been in close contact with the individual are being contacted by experts and the NHS.

This includes a number of passengers who travelled in close proximity to the patient on the same flight to London from Nigeria on Sunday, September 7.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not spread easily between people. It is usually a mild self-limiting illness and most people recover within a few weeks.

However, severe illness can occur in some individuals.

The infection can be spread when someone is in close contact with an infected person; however there is a very low risk of transmission to the general population.

People without symptoms are not considered infectious but, as a precaution, those who have been in close proximity are being contacted to ensure that if they do become unwell they can be treated quickly.

If passengers are not contacted then there is no action they should take.

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.

Dr Michael Jacobs, clinical director of infection at the Royal Free Hospital, said: “Monkeypox is, in most cases, a mild condition which will resolve on its own and have no long-term effects on a person’s health. Most people recover within several weeks.

“It is a rare disease caused by monkeypox virus, and has been reported mainly in central and west African countries.

“It does not spread easily between people and the risk of transmission to the wider public is very low. We are using strict isolation procedures in hospital to protect our staff and patients.”

Dr Nick Phin, Deputy Director, National Infection Service at PHE, said: “It is important to emphasise that monkeypox does not spread easily between people and the overall risk to the general public is very low.

“Public Health England is following up those who have had close contact with the patient to offer advice and to monitor them as necessary.

“PHE and the NHS have well established and robust infection control procedures for dealing with cases of imported infectious disease and these will be strictly followed to minimise the risk of transmission.”

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that can be transmitted to humans from animals.

It primarily occurs in remote parts of central and west Africa, near tropical rainforests.

In Africa human infections have been documented through the handling of infected monkeys, Gambian giant rats and squirrels, with rodents being the most likely reservoir of the virus. Eating inadequately cooked meat of infected animals is a possible risk factor.
Is it contagious?

It does not spread easily between people.

The infection can be spread when someone is in close contact with an infected person; however there is a very low risk of transmission to the general population.

The incubation period is usually from 6 to 16 days but can range from 5 to 21 days.
What are the symptoms?

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

A rash may develop on the face before spreading to other parts of the body.

Can it be fatal?

Monkeypox infection is usually a mild illness and most people recover within several weeks. However, severe illness can occur in some individuals.

But in some cases it can be fatal.
What is the treatment?

There are no specific treatments or vaccines available for monkeypox infection, but outbreaks can be controlled.

Source:   [url]https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/monkeypox-warning-patient-diagnosed-potentially-13212966[url
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 11 2018 at 1:42pm
[sie=4]Monkeypox UK outbreak: Second case confirmed - what symptoms to look out for

UPDATED: 20:30, Tue, Sep 11, 2018
MONKEYPOX is a rare viral infection which can begin with a fever and headache and develop into a rash. But while most people recover within weeks, it can cause severe illness and can have deadly consequences.
By Katrina Turrill

Monkeypox case number two has been confirmed in the UK, with a second individual diagnosed in England.

A patient was diagnosed with the illness last week in Cornwall and is currently receiving care at the Royal Free in London. But Public Health England (PHE) has said there no link between the two cases.

The patient in this second case is believed to have contracted the disease in Nigeria before travelling to the UK.

The second patient first presented at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and following a positive test result was transferred to Royal Liverpool University Hospital, an expert respiratory infectious disease centre, where they are now receiving appropriate care.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not spread easily between people. It is usually a mild self-limiting illness.

Dr Nick Phin, Deputy Director, National Infection Service at PHE: “We know that in September 2017 Nigeria experienced a large sustained outbreak of monkeypox and since then sporadic cases have continued to be reported.

“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.

“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 Mike Beadsworth, Clinical Director of the Tropical and Infectious Diseases Unit added: “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.”

The first monkeypox patient was staying in a naval base in Cornwall, before being taken to hospital.

They are a resident of Nigeria, and it’s believed they contracted the infection before travelling to the UK.

PHE and the NHS are contacting individuals who may have been in close contact with the patient, as monkeypox can be spread by human-to-human contact.

So what are the symptoms of monkeypox you should be looking out for?
Initial symptoms of the infection include fever, headache, aching muscles, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

A rash can also develop, usually starting on the face before spreading to other parts of the body, such as the hands and soles of the feet.

Often the rash develops into vesicles, which are small, fluid-filled blisters. These can become crusty and tend to fall off the skin in around 10 days.

The World Health Organization says it may take up to three weeks for the crusts to completely disappear.

The virus is usually spread via infected animals, but the best way to avoid it is to regularly wash your hands.

Source and video:    https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/1016115/monkeypox-virus-outbreak-second-case-uk-symptoms-signs
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 26 2018 at 9:28am
Monkeypox: contagious disease confirmed as having spread in UK for first time as third case discovered in Blackpool
UPDATE
Public health officials taking ‘highly precautionary’ approach to prevent virus spreading further

    Alex Matthews-King
    Health Correspondent
    6 hours ago

A healthcare worker has been quarantined with monkeypox in a bid to prevent the potentially deadly virus from spreading, public health officials have confirmed.

The patient, who had not been named, was transferred from the Blackpool Victoria Hospital to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, where they were placed in isolation.

The facility in the northeast has previously treated patients that have contracted the virus.

Those previous cases had, however, each independently travelled to Nigeria where there was a major outbreak of the disease in 2017.

Public Health England (PHE) said it is taking a “highly precautionary approach” to the virus, which can be serious in rare cases, adding that it was monitoring closely anyone who has been in contact with an infected person.

The virus spreads through close contact and it takes 16 days for symptoms, including fever, headaches and a rash that can form crusted blisters, to appear.

Anyone who had been in contact with the healthcare worker 24 hours before they noticed the rash is now being traced.

Dr Nick Phin, deputy director at PHE’s National Infection Service, said: “This healthcare worker cared for the patient before a diagnosis of monkeypox was made. We have been actively monitoring contacts for 21 days after exposure to detect anyone presenting with an illness so that they can be assessed quickly. It is therefore not wholly unexpected that a case has been identified.

“This person has been isolated and we are taking a highly precautionary approach to ensure that all contacts are traced.”

The UK’s first case was reportedly a Nigerian citizen and naval officer who was staying at a base in Cornwall. They are currently being treated at a specialist unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

PHE said it was working to trace people who may have shared their flight to the UK.

The second case was diagnosed in Blackpool in a person who had independently visited Nigeria. They are currently being treated at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

The disease, is related to smallpox but is much milder and was first identified in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It has mostly been spread on the African continent through the handling of infected monkeys. However, it is thought that Gambian giant rats and squirrels, along with other rodents are the most likely source of the virus.

Deaths have been recorded, particularly among the young, and the World Health Organisation reports that one in 10 cases are fatal – though this is predominantly in countries with less developed health systems.

In Nigeria’s outbreak in 2017, the largest ever seen, 172 suspected cases of monkeypox were identified and 61 confirmed cases were reported across the country. ​Seventy-five per cent of sufferers were male and aged between 21 and 40 years old.

Eating inadequately cooked meat from infected animals is another possible risk factor, according to the World Health Organisation.

Healthcare staff or people who may have come into contact with either infected person should contact PHE for health advice.

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/monkeypox-latest-victims-blackpool-disease-spread-treatment-uk-phe-a8555471.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 28 2018 at 11:36am
There may now be a fourth case here in the UK. That (if confirmed by the current tests) would be 2 imported cases and 2 contracted here.


Source:   https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/monkeypox-couples-daughter-says-dad-13322394
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 30 2018 at 2:49pm

The monkeypox mutation: Nearly 40 years since we defeated smallpox, scientists fear a new deadly plague could strike at any moment
Public Health England have said that monkeypox does not spread easily
Third patient, a medic, is receiving care at Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle
They had treated the patient before they were diagnosed with monkeypox
By JOHN NAISH FOR THE DAILY MAIL

PUBLISHED: 08:14 AEST, 28 September 2018 | UPDATED: 08:20 AEST, 28 September 2018

    

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One hundred years ago a third of the global population — some 500 million people — became infected with ‘Spanish flu’. Up to 50 million of them died in the 1918 pandemic.

Ever since, scientists have been alert to the possibility of another super-virulent influenza virus.

Today, with more than seven billion people on the planet, numerous densely-populated mega-cities, and the ease of modern air travel, the death toll from such a virus could be unimaginably higher.

A 40-year-old woman was rushed to hospital on Tuesday by staff wearing biohazard gear. The disease started from animals in Africa     +6
A 40-year-old woman was rushed to hospital on Tuesday by staff wearing biohazard gear. The disease started from animals in Africa

Monkeypox has spread from wild animals in Africa to humans - three in the United Kingdom      +6
Monkeypox has spread from wild animals in Africa to humans - three in the United Kingdom

Now, the emergence of a disease called monkeypox in Britain, has raised another scenario in which the next killer pandemic isn’t the flu virus at all. Instead, it is a highly infectious agent that has jumped the species barrier, spreading from wild animals in Africa to humans.



Initially, it would infect people locally, but while spreading and evolving, intermingling its genetic material with other human viruses and even human DNA, it would become ever more contagious until it could be transmitted merely by a cough or a sneeze.


Infectious disease experts have long warned of the possibility. Yesterday, the third confirmed case of monkeypox, in a female hospital healthcare assistant, heightened such fears.

The 40-year-old woman was rushed to hospital on Tuesday by staff wearing biohazard gear. She is being treated in isolation at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, 150 miles from her home in Fleetwood, Lancashire.

Family members and colleagues of the hospital worker are reportedly waiting to be vaccinated, while public health officials are tracing anyone she may have had contact with in the 24 hours before she fell ill.

So how worried should we be?

Monkeypox is caused by a close relative of the smallpox virus, but is less infectious and usually causes a mild illness, with a fever, headache and a rash that turns into chickenpox-like blisters. However, in some West African outbreaks ten per cent of cases — an alarmingly high number for an infectious disease — have proved fatal.

Smallpox was eradicated in 1980 following a global immunisation campaign led by the World Health Organisation (WHO), but some scientists are now suggesting that monkeypox virus may be mutating to fill the lethal vacancy.

Symptoms of one of the first known cases of the monkeypox virus are shown on a patient's hand in 2003     +6
Symptoms of one of the first known cases of the monkeypox virus are shown on a patient's hand in 2003

A US department of health three-way image of the Monkeypox virus on a child's body
A US department of health three-way image of the Monkeypox virus on a child's body

The first two British cases, one in Cornwall and another in Blackpool, were diagnosed in people believed to have become infected in Nigeria where a large outbreak started last year — the first cases in the country for 40 years. It is the third case that has triggered questions about the virus’s contagious power.

The healthcare worker at Blackpool Victoria Hospital is not believed to have had any direct contact with the infected traveller from Nigeria, but may have become infected while changing the patient’s bedding. She has said she was wearing gloves that were too short to cover the skin on her arms.

According to the WHO, monkeypox is spread only by close contact with an infected person’s spit, blood or pus. But has a mutation in the virus rendered that guidance perilously out of date? Could it have already evolved into a strain that can spread more easily between humans.

Scientists at Public Health England are urgently analysing samples of the virus to determine its genetic makeup. They will then compare it with samples collected in Central and West Africa, where cases of the disease have risen 20-fold since the 1980s. Monkeypox is believed to have originated in sooty mangabey monkeys and rope squirrels, and first infected humans who consumed them as ‘bushmeat’ more than 50 years ago.

Viruses that can ‘jump’ from animals to humans are called zoonoses. The Black Death, AIDS/HIV and Spanish flu — the world’s three biggest known pandemics — are all zoonoses.

Ebola which first struck in Zaire in 1976 and killed as many as 90 per cent of those infected in the 2014 epidemic, is another zoonotic disease, carried by bats in central Africa. Could monkeypox be the next one?

Our first inkling of monkeypox’s existence came in the 1950s, when doctors in Africa noticed the emergence of a viral infection in their patients that seemed similar to smallpox but was less contagious. Since then, the virus has become steadily more infectious.

Nigeria is currently experiencing the largest documented epidemic of human monkeypox — with 152 cases reported and seven deaths so far confirmed. Certainly, the WHO is taking it seriously. They are warning that ‘the emergence of monkeypox cases is a concern for global health security’.

A leading British authority on epidemics, John Oxford, emeritus professor of virology at Queen Mary, University of London, believes that the world is currently due a very large animal-originated pandemic.


However, he’s playing down fears that monkeypox could be the one. He explains that this is because monkeypox is a DNA virus — its genetic material is made up of a chemical known as deoxyribonucleic acid. ‘These viruses don’t mutate rapidly, they are stable . . . ’ he says.

By contrast RNA viruses, which have ribonucleic acid as their genetic material, are far less stable and can mutate into more dangerous forms very quickly.

Often they do this by ‘co-opting genes’ from other human viruses present in the infected individual. This gene-swapping effectively enables viruses to ‘learn new ways to be contagious. RNA viruses include Ebola, SARS, rabies, the common cold and influenza.

That’s not to say monkeypox may not prove to be an alarming exception to this rule. One leading scientist who has studied monkeypox in Africa for 15 years disagrees with Professor Oxford.

Professor Anne Rimoin, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, warns that despite being ‘stable’ DNA virus, monkeypox is mutating into more contagious versions.

Chillingly, an investigation she co-authored in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases warns that monkeypox ‘is adapting for efficient replication in a novel ecological niche — humans’. ‘The global effects of the emergence of monkeypox strains that are highly adapted to humans could be devastating,’ the report adds.

Because of ‘the apparent rapid evolution of this virus, health authorities in presently unaffected areas should become vigilant and actively prepare to take immediate action’, it concludes.

So what defensive action could we take if a mutant monkeypox virus is unleashed in Britain? Well, it seems we are at least well prepared and have Tony Blair to thank. After 9/11, the former Prime Minister ordered £80 million worth of the vaccination for use in a ‘smallpox plan’, to protect the population in the event of a terrorist attack that used the virus as a germ-warfare weapon.

At the time, the initiative was condemned as a waste of money, not least because one of Blair’s chief political donors — Lord Drayson — owned the company that manufactured the inoculations.


Now however Blair’s controversial move may prove an unwitting masterstroke of forward planning, because all the available evidence shows the smallpox vaccine may effectively protect people against infection from monkeypox, too.

Indeed, it the smallpox vaccine that will be given to contacts of the healthcare worker in Blackpool. Furthermore, the majority of Britons aged over 50 could well already be protected, as they were already vaccinated in childhood against smallpox.

By sheer chance, we appear to be well-positioned to deal with any monkeypox ‘apoxcalypse’. But it’s only a matter of time before the next virus emerges.

In his book Spillover, the award-winning American natural-history writer David Quammen warns that the human race faces a viral ‘doomsday’ if deadly infections learn the contagious trick that flu and cold microbes employ — spreading in coughs and sneezes.

‘If an infection such as HIV could be transmitted by air, you and I might already be dead,’ Quammen says. ‘If the rabies virus — another zoonosis — could be transmitted by air, it would be the most horrific pathogen on the planet.’

We have been warned.
12 Monkeys...............
1995 ‧ Science fiction film/Thriller ‧ 2h 11m a must for AFT
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