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expert reaction to third case of monkeypox in UK

Expert reaction to the third reported case of monkeypox in the UK as confirmed by Public Health England.


Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of Wellcome, said:

“That this third case of monkey pox has been diagnosed now in a healthcare worker in the UK is worrying and an important reminder of the threat posed by infectious diseases in our connected world.  Whilst cases of monkey pox are thankfully rare, it is an example of one of a number of diseases for which there is no approved vaccine or treatment.  With proper infection control in place the disease can be controlled and is usually self-limiting and currently poses a very low threat to the wider population.  International borders present very little barrier for disease, and we must work together and support scientists and researchers wherever they are in the world to develop vaccines and treatments for the patients who need them the most in order to protect us all.”


Prof Jonathan Ball, Professor of Molecular Virology, University of Nottingham, said:

“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.

“There are two main strains of virus – West African and Central African.  Given that the first infected patient had travelled from Nigeria then it would be a reasonable guess that we are dealing with a West African strain; but this needs to be confirmed.  The West African virus is associated with milder disease, fewer deaths, and limited human-to-human transmission.  Patients usually clear the infection with relative ease within a few weeks.

“Of course, today’s news is monkeypox but tomorrow it could be anything – we live in a very connected world, where people can, and do, travel from one side of the world to the other in the blink of an eye.  That’s why it is so important to build global capacity to detect and deal with emerging viruses as and when they appear.”


All our previous output on this subject can be seen at this weblink:


Declared interests

Prof Jonathan Ball: “No CoIs.”

None others received.



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