On May 7, UK health authorities notified WHO confirmed case in a person who recently returned to the country from Nigeria.
monkeypox a viral disease found mainly in the tropical forests of Central and West Africa. Sometimes it is exported to other regions.
The monkeypox virus is mainly transmitted to humans from wild animals such as rodents and primates, although human-to-human transmission also occurs.
The disease usually presents fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes.
Known risk factors are contact with live and dead animals, such as during hunting and consumption of game or bushmeat.
UN News/Omar Musni
Advanced contact tracing
The WHO said the patient traveled to Nigeria in late April, stopped in Lagos and Delta states, and developed a rash on April 29.
They returned to the UK on 4 May and were admitted to the hospital the same day. Since monkeypox was suspected, they immediately isolated.
Extensive contact tracing has identified infected individuals in the community, in healthcare facilities and on board an international flight. So far, no one has reported compatible symptoms.
“Because the case was isolated immediately and contact tracing was carried out, the risk of further transmission associated with this case in the United Kingdom is minimal. However, as the source of the infection in Nigeria is unknown, the risk of continued transmission in that country remains,” the UN agency said in a statement.
No travel or trade restrictions
The Nigerian authorities were informed of the case on 7 May.
This person did not report contact with anyone with a rash or known monkeypox in Nigeria. Details of travel and in-country contacts have also been shared for follow-up as needed.
The WHO does not currently recommend any restrictions on travel and trade with Nigeria or the UK, based on information currently available.
Learn more about monkeypox
Monkeypox virus belongs to the orthopoxvirus family, which includes smallpox.
It can be transmitted by contact and droplets, and the incubation period is usually six to 13 days, but can vary from 5 to 21 days.
Symptoms can be mild or severe and usually resolve spontaneously within 14 to 21 days. However, the lesions can be very itchy or painful.
Seven cases of monkeypox had previously been reported in the UK, all associated with travel to or from Nigeria.
Two separate cases were also reported in the United States last year, also imported from Nigeria.
The West African country has continued to report cases since September 2017, with 558 suspected cases up to April 30 this year.
The figure includes 241 confirmed cases, including eight deaths from the disease.