A person in England has been diagnosed with the rare viral infection monkeypox, Public Health England (PHE) has said.
The patient is believed to have contracted the infection while visiting Nigeria and is currently being treated at the specialist high consequence infectious disease centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London.
Close contacts of the patient, including those who travelled in close proximity to them on the flight from Nigeria to the UK, are being contacted.
PHE said monkeypox “is a rare viral infection that does not spread easily between people and the risk to the general public in England is very low.
“It is usually a self-limiting illness and most people recover within a few weeks.
“However, severe illness can occur in some individuals.”
PHE said the patient was staying in south-west England before they were transferred to Guy’s and St Thomas’.
It said it is working with the NHS to implement “rapid infection control procedures, including contacting people who might have been in close contact with the individual”.
Dr Meera Chand, consultant microbiologist at PHE, said: “Monkeypox does not spread easily between people and the overall risk to the general public is very low.
“We are following up with those who have had close contact with the patient to offer advice and to monitor them as necessary.