Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
National
Ninian Wilson

First case of monkeypox recorded in Scotland

First case of monkeypox has been recorded in Scotland

MONKEYPOX has been confirmed in an individual in Scotland. 

The individual is receiving treatment and contract tracing is underway.

Monkeypox is a viral infection usually found in West and Central Africa. The West African strain that has been recently detected in the UK is generally a mild self-limiting illness, spread by very close contact with someone already infected and with symptoms of monkeypox. Most people recover within a few weeks.

Public Health Scotland (PHS) is working with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), Public Health Wales and Northern Ireland HSC Health Protection Agency to monitor and respond to potential and confirmed cases of monkeypox in the UK.

As of Friday May 20, the UKHSA has identified 20 cases in England but more are expected.

Dr Nick Phin, Director of Public Health Science and Medical Director, PHS explains:“Public Health Scotland is aware of an individual in Scotland who is confirmed to have monkeypox. The affected individual is being managed and treated in line with nationally agreed protocols and guidance.

“We have well established and robust infection control procedures for dealing with such cases of infectious disease and these will be strictly followed.

“We are working with NHS Boards and wider partners in Scotland and the UK to investigate the source of this infection. Close contacts of the case are being identified and provided with health information and advice. This may include the offer of vaccination.

“The overall risk to the general public is low.

“Anyone with an unusual blister-like rash or small number of blister-like sores on any part of their body, including their genital area, should avoid close contact with others and seek medical advice if they have any concerns.”

Initial symptoms of the virus include fever or high temperature; head, muscle and back ache; swollen lymph nodes; chills and exhaustion.

A blister-like rash or small number of blister-like sores can also develop, starting on the face but spreading across the body.

The rash changes throughout the infection, finally forming a scab which falls off within weeks.

Those with the virus are infectious between the time that symptoms start and when the last scab falls off, Public Health Scotland said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said monkeypox was a rare disease but it was important to “keep an eye on it”.

He told reporters on a visit to a school in south-east London: “It’s basically very rare disease, and so far the consequences don’t seem to be very serious but it’s important that we keep an eye on it and that’s exactly what the the new UK Health Security Agency is doing. ”

Asked whether there should be quarantine for visitors or the use of the smallpox vaccine, Johnson said: “As things stand the judgment is that it’s rare.

“I think we’re looking very carefully at the circumstances of transmission. “It hasn’t yet proved, fatal in any case that we know of, certainly not in this country.”

The Government has stocks of the smallpox vaccine, which is being offered to very close contacts of those who have been affected.

Those at the highest risk of contracting the disease are being asked to self-isolate at home for 21 days, with others warned to be on the lookout for symptoms.

The first case identified in the UK was in a person who had returned from Nigeria, but other cases are unrelated to travel.

According to the UKHSA, monkeypox does not usually spread easily between people and the overall risk to the UK population remains low.

Anyone with unusual rashes or lesions on any part of their body, especially their genitalia, should contact NHS 111 or call a sexual health service if they have concerns, it said.

Earlier, chief secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke told Sky News that monkeypox is not a “repeat of” Covid-19.

“As with any new disease, and obviously after the Covid pandemic doubly so, we continue to monitor this very closely,” he said.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.