1st Monkeypox Case Confirmed in Wales

1st Monkeypox Case Confirmed in Wales
A section of skin tissue, harvested from a lesion on the skin of a monkey, that had been infected with monkeypox virus, is seen at 50X magnification on day four of rash development in 1968. (CDC/Handout via Reuters)
Lily Zhou

One monkeypox case has been identified in Wales, Public Health Wales (PHW) said on Thursday.

It comes after Scotland confirmed its first case of the disease on Monday.

The total number of announced confirmed cases in the UK is now 79—with 77 of them detected in England and none in Northern Ireland—although the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is expected to publish a further update later on Thursday.

Dr. Giri Shankar, director of health protection for PHW, said the case is being "appropriately" managed.

Shankar said PHW won't reveal further details relating to the patient in order to protect patient confidentiality.

He also stressed that the overall risk of monkeypox to the general public is low.

“We are reassuring people that monkeypox does not usually spread easily between people, and the overall risk to the general public is low. It is usually a mild self-limiting illness, and most people recover within a few weeks," Shankar said in a statement.

In its latest update published on Wednesday, UKHSA also said the risk to the UK population remains low.

The agency said its health protection teams are contacting people considered to be high-risk contacts of confirmed cases and are advising those who have been risk-assessed and remain well to isolate at home for up to 21 days.

It has also purchased supplies of Imvanex smallpox vaccine, which is being offered to close contacts of diagnosed monkeypox patients.

According to the World Health Organisation, "Vaccination against smallpox was demonstrated through several observational studies to be about 85 [percent] effective in preventing monkeypox. Thus, prior smallpox vaccination may result in milder illness."

The UKHSA said "a notable proportion of the cases identified" by Tuesday had been among homosexual men, whom the agency warned to be alert of monkeypox symptoms.

Initial symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion.

A rash may develop within one to five days after the appearance of fever. It changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab which later falls off, UKHSA guidance said.

An individual is contagious until all the scabs have fallen off and there is intact skin underneath. The scabs may also contain infectious virus material.

The disease doesn't easily transmit among humans, but transmission can occur if one comes in contact with clothing or linens used by an infected person, monkeypox skin lesions or scabs, or the coughing or sneezing of an individual with a monkeypox rash.

Lily Zhou is an Irish-based reporter focusing on UK news. Lily first joined the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times before turning her focus on the UK in 2020.
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