Where does monkeypox come from?

Monkeypox: Matt Hancock says there's a 'UK outbreak'

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Monkeypox is a rare disease, the risk of catching it in the UK is very low. But, after two cases were identified in Britain in the past week should you be concerned? Here is all you need to know about the disease and how to identify it.

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus.

Public Health Wales confirmed two cases of the disease were identified in North Wales this week.

The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, told the Health and Social Select Committee: “As Health Secretary, you’re dealing with outbreaks all the time.

“I’m currently dealing with a monkeypox outbreak and cases of drug-resistant TB.

“That is absolutely standard.”

Public health officials stressed the disease is of “very low” risk to the public and that monkeypox cases are “rare” in the UK.

Monkeypox does not spread easily between people.

Where did the monkeypox come from?

The virus was first discovered in 1958 when the disease appeared among monkeys being used for research.

The first recorded case of monkeypox in humans was reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970.

Outbreaks of the pox now repeatedly occur in several central and western African countries.

Outbreaks tend to appear in regions close to tropical rainforests.

Officials have confirmed the recent case was first contracted aboard and then brought to the UK when one of the patients returned home.

The disease was then passed on to one other person, the second case recorded was a member of the first patient’s household.

Both were admitted to a hospital in England for treatment, one of the patients is still receiving treatment there.

Public Health Wales is tracing those who might have come into contact with these patients.

What are the symptoms of monkeypox?

The pox usually causes a mild illness that gets better on its own without treatment.
Monkeypox symptoms start with:
High temperature
Muscle aches
Swollen glands

A rash often starts one to five days after the first symptoms appear.

These spots normally begin on the face before spreading to other parts of the body.

Although the illness tends to be mild sometimes those infected can develop more serious symptoms.

If you think you may have come into contact with someone who has had it and you are now experiencing some of the symptoms listed above you should seek medical assistance.

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