What exactly is monkeypox and is it dangerous?
A person in England has tested positive.
Doctors in London have confirmed a case of monkeypox.
The patient is currently in isolation at Guy’s and St Thomas’ infectious disease hospital in London.
It is believed the case was diagnosed on Saturday.
The rare virus is most common in wild animals, but humans can also be infected in rare cases.
It is typically common in Central and Western Africa, but there have been previous outbreaks in multiple countries including England.
What is monkeypox?
According to the World Health Organisation, monkeypox is an infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. The virus can be similar to chickenpox, but it is not as common.
It tends to circulate in certain rodents in parts of Africa.
How is it spread?
Monkeypox is typically spread through animal bites or through direct contact with an infected animal's bodily fluids.
Animals like squirrels, rats, and monkeys spread the virus.
Humans can also spread the virus through respiratory contact. They can also spread monkeypox through direct contact with an infected human's bodily fluids.
People can also become infected if they touch contaminated surfaces or objects.
What are the symptoms?
The first symptoms include fever, headache, and muscle pains. People may also experience swollen lymph nodes and tiredness. This is then followed by a rash. The rash forms white blisters which eventually crust over. Symptoms can last from 2 to 4 weeks.
Doctors confirm cases by testing the lesions for the virus's DNA.
Is it treatable?
It is believed the smallpox vaccine can prevent infection. However, there is no known cure for the virus.
Cidofovir and vaccinia immune globulin can also be used to prevent infection.
The risk of death for those infected with monkeypox is 10%. Death is more common in younger children.
Last year, three cases of the virus were confirmed in Wales. There was also a confirmed case in the United States. There are no known cases in Ireland at this time.