On 7 May 2022, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) confirmed the diagnosis of monkeypox in an individual who had travelled from Nigeria, before arriving in the UK, while on 14 May 2022, the UKHSA further confirmed two additional diagnoses of monkeypox in London, unrelated to the case reported the week before. Both new cases are in people who live in the same household.
Monkeypox, a rare viral infection, does not spread easily between people and is usually a mild self-limiting illness with most people recovering within a few weeks, though severe illness can occur in some individuals. The infection can be spread when someone is in close contact with an infected person, however, the risk of transmission to the general population is very low.
Initial symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body. The rash changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab, which later falls off.
As a precautionary measure, UKHSA experts are working closely with NHS colleagues and will contact people who might have been in close contact with all three individuals to provide information and health advice. For the first case, this will include contacting several passengers who travelled in close proximity to the individual on the same flight to the UK. People without symptoms are not considered infectious but, as a precaution, those who have been in close proximity are being contacted to ensure that if they do become unwell, they can be treated quickly. If passengers are not contacted, then there is no action they should take.
Source: UKHSA, 14 May 2022