Monkeypox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. The Orthopoxvirus genus also includes variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus.
The Health Security Agency in the United Kingdom announced the discovery of 16 new cases of monkeypox, bringing the total number to 106.
A statement on the British government website said, yesterday, Friday, that the total number of confirmed cases in England has reached 101, with 3 confirmed cases in Scotland, one in Wales and one in Northern Ireland, bringing the total number of cases in the United Kingdom to 106.
The statement noted that the risk to the UK population remains low, “but we ask people to be alert for any new rashes or lesions, which may appear as spots, ulcers or blisters on any part of the body.”
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The disease has been detected in 19 countries around the world – mainly in Europe – from the smallpox-like virus over the past three weeks, and the infection is usually detected only sporadically outside West and Central Africa, where the virus is endemic in animals.
The disease was first discovered in laboratory monkeys in the late 1950s, and it is usually mild, but can cause severe illness in some cases that can kill up to 10 percent of the people it infects. The milder strain that causes the current outbreak kills one in 100 people.
The incubation period for monkeypox is 21 days, which means that it can take up to three weeks for symptoms to appear. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and fatigue.
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