As the Inquisitr reported on September 12, cases of the rare virus Monkeypox have been popping up in the U.K. The latest incident involves a healthcare worker in Blackpool, England.
Despite the alarming nature of the diagnoses, professor Jonathon Ball, a molecular virology specialist at the University of Nottingham, says that evidence indicates this is not an epidemic.
"The fact that only one of the fifty contacts of the initial monkeypox-infected patient has been infected shows how poorly infectious the virus is. It is wrong to think that we are on the brink of a nationwide outbreak."
Monkeypox is similar to smallpox, but is generally not as serious and is not as easily transferred from person to person. Normally, it is contracted through interaction with infected animals like rodents and monkeys (hence the name) and is thought to be native to central and western Africa. The symptoms of monkeypox include rash, blisters, fever, and body aches, and they generally subside within a few weeks. However, in rare cases, it can lead to more serious health concerns, and it is fatal in 1 percent to 10 percent of cases. As yet, there is no treatment or vaccination for the disease, though the World Health Organization reports that smallpox vaccines have been shown to be effective against monkeypox in the past.
The first case of monkeypox in humans was identified in 1970 in the former Republic of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) in a 9-year-old boy.