Monkeypox outbreak in UK: Cases under investigation with one in hospital

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Two cases have been reported in north Wales, both from the same household, with one now receiving treatment in England. According to Public Health England there is a “low” risk to the wider public.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports monkeypox causes similar symptoms to smallpox, though generally less severe.

Mr Hancock described dealing with the virus as “absolutely standard”, during an appearance before the Health and Social Select Committee in Parliament.

He commented: “As Health Secretary, you’re dealing with these sorts of outbreaks all of the time – I’m currently dealing with a monkeypox outbreak and cases of drug resistant TB, and that is absolutely standard.”

The Mirror reports one of those infected is believed to have contracted the virus during abroad.

They then passed the disease onto someone they share a house with.

Public Health Wales released a statement confirming the two cases.

It said: “Public Health Wales and Public Health England are monitoring two cases of imported monkeypox identified in North Wales.

“The index case was acquired overseas, and the two cases are members of the same household. Both cases were admitted to a hospital in England, where one currently remains.

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It described transmission of the infection as “limited”.

Richard Firth, a health protection consultant at Public Health Wales, commented: “Confirmed cases of monkeypox are a rare event in the UK, and the risk to the general public is very low.

“We have worked with multi agency colleagues, following tried and tested protocols and procedures, and identified all close contacts.

“Actions have been put in place to minimise the likelihood of further infection.

“Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus and has been reported mainly in central and West African countries.”

During his committee appearance, Mr Hancock said the Delta, or Indian, coronavirus variant now makes up 91 percent of new UK cases.

There are concerns the full lifting of coronavirus restrictions on June 21 may have to be delayed.

On Thursday NHS England reported another 149,733 first dose coronavirus vaccines, along with 253,913 second jabs.

More than three-quarters of the population have received at least one Covid vaccine.

All those aged between 25-30 are now eligible to book vaccinations with the NHS.

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