Monkeypox: Health agency urges people to look out for symptoms
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The expert explained that monkeypox presents clinically with a rash that is comparable to the breakouts seen with smallpox. Because the two diseases are related, both can be treated using the same vaccine. Monkeypox, however, isn’t nearly as dangerous as smallpox, noted Dr Hilary. The symptoms of the disease, however, could persist for up to two weeks.
Doctor Hilary told Lorraine: “[Monkeypox] is usually confined to central and Western Africa, and it is often seen in people who come into contact with infected animals, like rodents, but it can be passed on through close contact between one human to another.
“This is the kind of rash that it causes, it does look very much like smallpox, which thankfully has been eradicated.
“Actually, the vaccine, which we’re currently ordering in, for monkeypox, is the same as the smallpox vaccine.
“The viruses are similar in some ways, but this isn’t nearly as dangerous as smallpox.
Read more: Monkeypox latest: Experts warn spread may become global as 2 more countries announce cases
“In mild cases, this is a fever, a headache, muscle aches, enlarged glands for maybe two weeks or so before people recover.”
The expert continued: “We’ve got nine cases already described in the UK, a few more will be announced in the next few days.”
“The incubation period is five to 21 days from exposure to getting the rash, to other symptoms.”
The expert advised anyone who suspects they have got a rash, or suspects they’ve come into contact with somebody they believe may be infected, to contact authorities.
The virus is rumoured to have reached the UK through a traveller arriving from Africa, added doctor Hilary.
Health bosses are investigating how cases have spread across the UK.
It was previously believed monkeypox spread by close contact, mainly via an infected person’s exhaled respiratory droplets.
The majority of confirmed monkeypox cases in the UK, however, are in gay and bisexual men.
This suggests sex is driving the outbreak in Britain, according to experts.
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