Third monkeypox victim is healthcare worker who treated infected patient

Third monkeypox victim is healthcare worker who treated infected patient

The third individual is now being treated at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

The patient - who was only the second case of the rare infection recorded in the United Kingdom - is believed to have contracted the virus after travelling to Nigeria.

PHE previously said there was "no United Kingdom link" between the first two patients.

Initial symptoms include fever, headache, aching muscles, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion before a rash develops, usually beginning on the face and spreading to other parts of the body. It eventually forms a scab which falls off.

Ball noted that there are two main strains of monkeypox virus - West African and Central African - it would be a "reasonable guess" to assume these cases are of the West African strain. These were the first ever cases of monkeypox in Britain.

People living in rural areas of west Africa are regularly exposed to the virus and infections are common.

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Earlier this month, Public Health England reported two unconnected cases of monkeypox in people who were recently in Nigeria.

A health worker in northern England has become the third person in Britain to contract a rare illness caused by a monkeypox virus after caring for a patient infected with the disease following travel to Nigeria, health officials said on Wednesday.

The latest patient has been isolated to reduce risk of transmission to others, receiving treatment at a specialist unit at the Royal Infirmary in Newcastle in the United Kingdom, according to PHE, who said they are following up with close contacts of the health care worker and tracing anyone who had contact with them 24 hours before they first noticed a rash. Fatality rates are between 1% and 10% and there is no specific treatment or vaccine for the disease.

Dr Nick Phin, deputy director of PHE's national infection service, said it had been "actively monitoring contacts" for 21 days after exposure.

PHE previously said it was also trying to contact passengers who were near the first patient on the flight to the UK. It can spread among people via droplets or close contact.

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