Two more UK monkeypox cases as contact tracing extends to Scotland

One of the two people – who live in the same household in England – is being treated in hospital.

Two more UK monkeypox cases as contact tracing extends to Scotland STV News
Two more cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in England, health bosses said.

Two more cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in England, health bosses said.

One of the two people – who live in the same household – is being treated in hospital, according to the UK Health Security Agency.

The cases, confirmed by health bosses on Saturday, are not linked to the previously confirmed case announced on May 7.

Close contacts of the latest two cases are being contacted and offered information and health advice “as a precautionary measure”, the UKHSA said.

Health bosses said it is important to emphasise that monkeypox does not spread easily between people and that the overall risk to the general public remains “very low”.

It comes after Scottish health officials announced they were involved in contact tracing a “small number of individuals” linked to a monkeypox case.

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

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

On Saturday, Dr Colin Brown, director of clinical and emerging infections at the UKHSA, said: “We have confirmed two new monkeypox cases in England that are not linked to the case announced on May 7.

“While investigations remain ongoing to determine the source of infection, it is important to emphasise it does not spread easily between people and requires close personal contact with an infected symptomatic person. The overall risk to the general public remains very low.

“We are contacting any potential friends, family or contacts in the community. We are also working with the NHS to reach any healthcare contacts who have had close contact with the cases prior to confirmation of their infection, to assess them as necessary and provide advice.”

He said the 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”.

Professor Julian Redhead, medical director at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We are caring for a patient in our specialist high consequence infectious diseases unit at St Mary’s Hospital.

“All of the necessary infectious control procedures have been followed and we are working closely with UKHSA and NHS England.”

The health agency said initial symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

It said a rash can develop, which changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab, which later falls off.