Deadly virus monkeypox found the UK for the first time as health officials try to avert potentially deadly outbreak

Sunday, September 9, 2018
By Paul Martin

8 September 2018

Health officials were last night trying to avert an outbreak of a potentially deadly African virus related to smallpox after the first person ever was diagnosed with monkeypox in the UK.

They said a Nigerian individual who flew into the UK last Sunday has been diagnosed with the bug, which kills up to one in ten of those infected. There is no vaccine.

Like Ebola, monkeypox resides in wild animals but humans can catch it through direct contact with animals, such as handling monkeys, or eating inadequately cooked meat.

It can pass from human- to-human via droplets in the air, and by touching the skin of an infected individual, or touching objects contaminated by them.

Initial symptoms include fever, headache and chills. As the illness develops large welts can appear over the face and body.

Officials from Public Health England said they were in the process of contacting people who sat near the Nigerian on the flight, who is being treated in ‘strict isolation’ at the Royal Free Hospital in North London.

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