Monkeypox Scotland: First case of monkeypox confirmed in Scotland as UK total reaches 57

The first case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Scotland, as a further 56 were identified in England, bringing the UK total to 57.

Public Health Scotland (PHS) said the Scottish case has been taken into hospital in line with protocols, and is being treated.

Contact tracing has begun and contacts of the case will be offered a vaccine. Scotland has ordered a “small” supply of vaccine to be held in Glasgow and Edinburgh, PHS said, while plans are made for drawing more from UK stocks once a larger storage site is found.

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Dr Nick Phin, Director of Public Health Science and Medical Director, said the Scottish case is not believed to be linked to travel, but instead is thought to have transmitted within the UK.

The first case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Scotland

Monkeypox is is usually found in West and Central Africa, and while cases have been reported in the UK before there has never been an outbreak on this scale.

Dr Phin stressed there is no need for as much concern about this outbreak as for Covid-19.

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“This is not Covid 2”, he said.

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“There are a number of striking differences between this and Covid. We’ve got a longer incubation period. We’ve got an effective vaccine and we’ve got effective medication. There is not what we understand to be an asymptomatic phase so in other words, if you’ve got symptoms, that’s when you’re infectious.”

PHS stressed a common sense approach was needed to keep the virus contained.

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Dr Phin said: “What we’re trying to do is early identification and vaccination of contacts. The vaccination will stop people, if it’s given early enough, going on to develop the condition.

“A lot of it is common sense: washing your hands, the usual things. I’m pretty confident we are not dealing with another Covid issue.”

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Dr Phin described the risk to the public as low, but warned anyone with “blister-like sores” on their body to seek medical attention.

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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.

The disease is usually mild but can cause severe illness in some cases.

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Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, which then spreads to other parts of the body including the genitals.

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The rash changes and goes through different stages, before finally forming a scab, which typically falls off over the course of a couple of weeks.

Individuals are infectious from the point symptoms start until all the scabs fall off. During this time close contact with others must be avoided.

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Monkeypox: What is monkeypox, what are the symptoms, and are there cases in Scot...

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

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It is not normally a sexually-transmitted infection, but it can be passed on by direct contact during sex.

It can also be spread through touching clothing, bedding or towels used by someone with the monkeypox rash, and through the coughs and sneezes of somebody with the infection.