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What is monkeypox, what are the symptoms and should we be worried?

It has been reported on other media platforms that the first ever UK case of monkeypox was recorded on Friday at a naval base in Cornwall. But just what is the viral infection and how dangerous is it? According to the World Health Organisation, monkeypox is similar to human smallpox, which was eradicated in 1980.

The disease is zoonotic, which means it normally exists in animals but can also be transferred to humans. In the case of monkeypox, the disease is mostly transmitted to people from animals such as rodents and primates.

The infection primarily occurs in remote parts of central and west Africa, near tropical rainforests. In the case found in Cornwall, the person is believed to have contracted the infection in Nigeria before travelling to the UK. We believe this should raise awareness here in the Kingdom and we be in the look on this deadly disease.

What are the symptoms?

The early stages of monkeypox can be characterised by a high fever, intense headache, swelling of lymph nodes and aching muscles, say the WHO. Those infected are also likely to have a lack of energy in the first five days after contracting the disease. A rash will appear one to three days after the fever, often beginning on the face before spreading elsewhere on the body.

This rash is then likely to evolve into lesions with flat bases, blisters or pustules, followed by crusts, in approximately 10 days. The symptoms can be known to last two to three weeks as the virus is a self-limited disease, meaning it is restricted in its duration.

 

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