Matt Hancock has confirmed the UK is dealing with an outbreak of monkeypox.
The Health Secretary did not give any further details about where or how many cases there had been, but it is understood two infections were reported in Wales.
He said: ‘As Health Secretary, you’re dealing with these sorts of outbreaks all of the time. I’m currently dealing with a monkeypox outbreak and cases of drug resistant TB, and that is absolutely standard.
‘And the lack of that capability at the start meant the options that we had were fewer.’
Health officials confirmed the outbreak of drug resistant Tuberculosis (TB) was one case in England.
The first monkeypox case reportedly caught the virus abroad before passing it to someone in their household.
Both were admitted to a hospital in England, where one remains, according to The Sun.
There have only been a small number of monkeypox cases in the UK – the latest two would be the fifth and sixth ever recorded.
Most cases have been in Africa and the risk of catching monkeypox in the UK is very low, according to the NHS website.
It’s usually a mild illness that will get better on its own without treatment.
Some people can develop more serious symptoms, so patients with monkeypox in the UK are cared for in specialist hospitals.
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
The illness begins with:
- high temperature
- muscle aches
- swollen glands
A rash usually begins 1 to 5 days after the first symptoms appear. The spots often start on the face before spreading to other parts of the body.
During the illness the rash changes from raised red bumps, to spots filled with fluid. The spots eventually form scabs which later fall off.
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