Monkeypox has been confirmed in an individual in Scotland.
The individual is receiving care and treatment appropriate to their condition and contact tracing is underway.
Monkeypox is a viral infection usually found in West and Central Africa. 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. Most people recover within a few weeks.
Public Health Scotland (PHS) is working with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), Public Health Wales and Northern Ireland HSC Health Protection Agency to monitor and respond to potential and confirmed cases of monkeypox in the UK.
As of Friday 20 May, the UK Health Security Agency (external website) has identified 20 cases in England but more are expected.
Dr Nick Phin, Director of Public Health Science and Medical Director at PHS, explains:
“PHS is aware of an individual in Scotland who is confirmed to have monkeypox. The affected individual is being managed and treated in line with nationally agreed protocols and guidance.
“We have well established and robust infection control procedures for dealing with such cases of infectious disease and these will be strictly followed.
“We are working with NHS Boards and wider partners in Scotland and the UK to investigate the source of this infection. Close contacts of the case are being identified and provided with health information and advice. This may include the offer of vaccination.
“The overall risk to the general public is low.
“Anyone with an unusual blister-like rash or small number of blister-like sores on any part of their body, including their genital area, should avoid close contact with others and seek medical advice if they have any concerns”.
Initial symptoms of monkey pox include fever or high temperature, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.
A blister-like rash or small number of blister-like sores can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body, including the genital area.
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.
The latest case numbers of monkeypox in Scotland can be found on the PHS monkeypox web page.