Scottish health officials tracing contacts after monkeypox case

Public Health Scotland is meeting with the UK Health Security Agency over the infection.

Scottish health officials start contact tracing after monkeypox case detected in England World Health Organization via Supplied

Scottish health officials are involved in contact tracing a “small number of individuals” linked to a monkeypox case.

Public Health Scotland (PHS) said it is liaising with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) as part of the contact tracing process after a case of monkeypox was announced in England on Saturday.

The patient, who had a recent travel history from Nigeria, is believed to have contracted the infection before travelling to the UK.

The UKHSA has said it was working closely with NHS colleagues and contacting people who may have been in close contact with the individual to provide further information.

Monkeypox was first discovered in

This includes contacting passengers who travelled in close proximity to the patient on the same flight to the UK.

Monkeypox, first discovered in 1958, is a rare viral infection that does not spread easily between people and is usually a mild self-limiting illness, however some people can experience severe illness.

Symptoms include fever, headache, aching muscles, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

A PHS spokesman said: “Public Health Scotland is liaising with the UK Health Security Agency over the contact tracing of a small number of individuals related to the monkeypox case identified in England.

“This is a standard and precautionary exercise and the risk to the general public remains very low.”

Dr Colin Brown, director of clinical and emerging infections at UKHSA, said: “It is important to emphasise that monkeypox does not spread easily between people and the overall risk to the general public is very low.”

He added: “UKHSA and the NHS have well-established and robust infection control procedures for dealing with cases of imported infectious disease and these will be strictly followed.”