England reports a rare case of monkeypox infection in a person

A person who recently traveled to Nigeria contracted a rare virus, the UK Health Security Agency said in a statement. Human smallpox was eradicated in 1980.

A crab-eating macaque in Ngarai Sianok, Bukittinggi, West Sumatra (photo credit: SAKURAI MIDORI/CC BY-SA 2.1 JP (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.1/jp/deed.en)/VIA WIKI)
A crab-eating macaque in Ngarai Sianok, Bukittinggi, West Sumatra
(photo credit: SAKURAI MIDORI/CC BY-SA 2.1 JP (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.1/jp/deed.en)/VIA WIKI)

A person in England has been diagnosed with a rare viral monkeypox infection thought to be linked to travel to West Africa, health authorities said on Saturday.

What is Monkeypox? 

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said in a statement the case, in a person who had recently traveled to Nigeria, was being treated at an expert respiratory infectious disease unit at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in London.

Electron micrograph of monkeypox virus (credit: NO AUTHOR SPECIFIED/PUBLIC DOMAIN/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)Electron micrograph of monkeypox virus (credit: NO AUTHOR SPECIFIED/PUBLIC DOMAIN/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

"It is important to emphasize that monkeypox does not spread easily between people and the overall risk to the general public is very low," said Colin Brown, director of clinical and emerging infections at UKHSA.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection similar to human smallpox, which was eradicated in 1980. Although monkeypox is much milder than smallpox, with most infected people recovering within a few weeks, it can in rare cases be fatal.