Published by BBC NEWS - 26th May 2022

Monkeypox virus particle

Image source, Science Photo Library

The first case of monkeypox has been identified in Wales, public health officials have confirmed.

Public Health Wales (PHW) said the case was being managed “appropriately” and no further details about the patient would be disclosed.

It added the overall risk to the general public was low.

According to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) there were 79 cases reported of monkeypox in the UK as of Tuesday.

The UKHSA said it would update the totals later on Thursday.

Director of health protection, Dr Giri Shankar, said PHW was working with the UKHSA, as well as public health agencies in Scotland and Northern Ireland to respond to cases.

He added anyone with unusual rashes or legions on any part of their body should contact NHS 111, or call a sexual health service if they have any concerns.

Dr Shankar said: “It is usually a mild self-limiting illness, and most people recover within a few weeks, however, severe illness can occur in some individuals.

“Everyone is being asked to be aware of monkeypox symptoms, but it is important that gay and bisexual men are alert as it’s believed to be spreading in sexual networks.”

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox rash

Image source, UKHSA

PHW said initial symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body, particularly the hands and feet.

The rash changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab, which later falls off.

Symptoms usually take between five and 21 days to appear after infection.

It can spread through touching blisters, scabs or items such as bedding or clothing of someone with a monkeypox rash, as well as coughs and sneezes.


UKHSA teams have been tracing contacts of those with a confirmed case and are advising those at highest risk to isolate for 21 days.

A smallpox vaccine is also being offered to close contacts to reduce their risk of symptoms and severe illness.




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