The medics who treated Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s monkeypox patient are being watched for signs of illness.
The patient, only the second in the UK to be diagnosed with the rare viral infection, was quarantined before being transferred to Liverpool, which specialises in tropical diseases – and bosses at the Vic have moved to stress patients, staff, and visitors are no longer at risk.
The unidentified patient had recently been to Nigeria, where they are understood to have picked up the disease.
The first UK case was a Nigerian resident staying at a naval base in Cornwall, who was diagnosed last week. There is “no UK link” between the two patients, public health officials said.
“Once the patient was recognised as having a contagious condition, they were rapidly transferred to an isolation unit to ensure minimal risk to staff and patients,” a spokesman for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said.
“When tests confirmed it was the Monkeypox virus the patient was transferred to Liverpool as per our standard guidelines.
“The trust is now supporting all staff who cared for the patient.
“All necessary precautions have been taken by specialist staff and there is currently no risk to other staff, patients or visitors. We ask that people continue to use our services as normal.’’
Monkeypox does not spread easily between people and most who contract the infection recover within a few weeks, though severe illness can occure in some people. Dr Nick Phin, deputy director of the National Infection Service, said it was “very unusual” to see two cases in this short a period of time.”
Meanwhile, health chiefs in Preston described recent rumours of a patient being treated for monkeypox at Royal Preston Hospital as “fake news”.