second strain identified in UK as cases in London hit 2,257

second strain identified in UK as cases in London hit 2,257
second strain identified in UK as cases in London hit 2,257

A second strain of monkeypox has been identified in the UK, health officials have announced.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said a person who had recently traveled to West Africa had contracted a separate strain of the virus from that currently circulating in Britain.

Contact tracing of the individual is ongoing, the UKHSA said. It is not known how the person got monkeypox or if they are male or female.

The individual was admitted to Royal Liverpool University Hospital for further testing, the UKHSA said.

There are two distinct strains of monkeypox virus, known as Clade I and Clade II.

Clade I has a death rate of about one in 10, while the death rate for Clade II is about one in 100.

The latest UKHSA figures show there are just over 3,100 confirmed cases of monkeypox in England, with around 70% of infections in London. There were 25 new cases in the capital in the week ending August 30, bringing the total to 2,257.

Dr Sophia Maki, Incident Director at UKHSA, said: “The UKHSA and NHS have well established and robust infection control procedures for dealing with cases of imported infectious disease and these will be strictly followed and the risk to the general public is very low.

“We remind anyone planning to travel to West and Central Africa to be alert for symptoms of monkeypox and to call 111 if you have symptoms on your return.”

The initial outbreak of monkeypox last May alarmed health officials because the viral disease, which was first discovered in monkeys, occurs mainly in West and Central Africa and only occasionally spreads elsewhere.

It comes just days after health officials said transmission of the virus appears to be slowing in Europe.

Dr Hans Kluge, the World Health Organization’s regional director for Europe, told a briefing on Tuesday there were “encouraging early signs” that the outbreak could be slowing in the UK , Germany and France.

There were 79 cases of monkeypox recorded in the UK last week, up from 126 the previous week and 167 the previous week.

Symptoms of the virus include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

A rash may also develop, often starting on the face and spreading to other parts of the body. Crusts may form on the body, then fall off.

Monkeypox is not normally a sexually transmitted infection, but it can be transmitted through direct contact during sex.

It can also be spread by touching the clothes, bedding, or towels used by someone with the monkeypox rash, and by coughing and sneezing from an infected person.

Scientists at the University of Oxford launched a clinical trial last week to assess whether Tecovirimat – also known as Tpoxx – can help reduce the duration of illness.

. Monkeypox second strain identified UK so the cases London have reached

. strain identified cases London hit

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