Did You Know | Health

Rare Monkeypox Virus Has Started Reappearing, Here's What You Need To Know

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Your health is often something you take for granted, that is until something goes wrong. We never can predict when something is going to go wrong, and the scariest part is that we never know how bad it's going to be.

It seems like every few months there is a new threat to our health and safety, and this news is no different. The latest illness that has taken over the headlines is one that has been around for a while, but only recently started spreading.

Monkeypox virus is normally found in central and west Africa, but in the last few weeks there have been two unrelated cases of it reported in the United Kingdom.

Public Health England confirmed the diagnosis, but while the two people are not related, they both had recently traveled to Nigeria.

The rare illness typically presents itself with a fever, muscle aches, and a rash, and most patients recover within a few weeks. However, as with most illnesses, there are cases that become much more dangerous.

Deputy director of the National Infection Service Nick Phin, admits that this is unusual, but they are working to reduce any kind of spreading.

"It is very unusual to see two cases in such a relatively short space of time. We are working hard to contact individuals, including healthcare workers, that might have come into contact with the individual to provide information and health advice," he said.

In 2017, there was an outbreak of the disease but it stayed centralized to Nigeria. The fact that it is circulating is increasingly concerning.

"It is likely that monkeypox continues to circulate in Nigeria and could, therefore, affect travelers who are returning from this part of the world," Phil continued.

What is the monkeypox virus? It was first discovered in monkeys in 1958, with the first human case being diagnosed in 1970.

The disease can be lethal in certain cases, with a death rate of 10% it's still considered a serious condition.

It can be transmitted from infected animals to humans, or from human to human through bodily fluids or even just through the air. Sharing utensils, or even just sharing a room with an infected person can lead to it passing on.

While it hasn't come across the ocean yet, it's important to know what to look for. It usually starts with fevers, headaches, sore muscles, back pain, and swollen lymph nodes. A rash usually accompanies the virus, that spreads across the body and scabs up before vanishing.

That's why the UK is so concerned about these two separate incidents, as it means that the infected patients had to travel back to the UK, which means many people could have been exposed.

The hospital where the newest patient is currently being treated did release a statement though, trying to soothe the concerns of the general public.

They said that the patient was "currently no risk to other staff, patients or visitors," and is being contained to a safe area.

"The patient is being cared for on our specialist infectious and tropical diseases unit, by highly trained staff who are experienced in dealing with a variety of infectious diseases," Mike Beadsworth, clinical director of the Tropical and Infectious Diseases Unit said.

Source- CNN / Telegraph / Independent

Had you been aware of the symptoms of the monkeypox virus before, or would you have thought it was something else?

Tanya has been writing for Shared for two years. She spends too much time thinking about dogs, Marvel movies, and ice cream. You can reach me at tanya@shared.com