Two more people were diagnosed with monkeypox, a rare viral infection, in England, reported the UK Health Safety Agency.
The individuals live together in the same household, but are not linked to the previous case announced on May 7.
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Of the two new cases, one was receiving care at St Mary’s Hospital in London and the other was in isolation, the agency added.
Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that most people recover from within a few weeks, according to the NHS.
But it can be potentially serious. It usually starts with flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph nodes. It later progresses to a widespread rash on the face and body.
The UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) announced on 7 May that a person who had recently traveled to Nigeria had contracted the infection.
Monkeypox causes a rash, which can be extremely itchy, that changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a crust — Photo: GETTY IMAGES/BBC
they are believed to contracted the disease in Nigeria before traveling to the UK.
Colin Brown, director of clinical and emerging infection at the UKHSA, said the two new smallpox cases were not linked to the case announced on 7 May.
“While investigations remain ongoing to determine the source of the infection, it is important to emphasize that it does not spread easily between people and requires close personal contact with a symptomatic infected person,” he said.
“The overall risk to the general public remains very low.”
Brown said the agency was reaching out to “any friends, family or potential contacts in the community” as well as “health care professionals who treated” the two new cases.
Initial symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion.
A rash can also develop, which usually starts on the face before spreading to other parts of the body. It then forms a crust that falls off.
Public Health England, the British government’s public health agency, said monkeypox does not spread easily and most patients recover within a few weeks, but it can cause serious illness in some people.