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The first ever UK case of Monkeypox has been recorded in Cornwall.

The rare viral infection was found on Friday in a Nigerian national staying at a naval base in Cornwall, Public Health England (PHE) said.

The patient was transferred to the expert infectious disease unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London on Saturday morning.

Monkeypox, A Member Of The Orthopox Family Of Viruses, Is An Infection Accidentally Transmitted To Humans Due To Its Similarity To The Smallpox Virus. Although Animals Infected With Monkeypox Exhibit No Symptoms, Infected Humans Manifest High Fever Accompanied By Headaches, Cervical And Inguinal Adenopathy, And Cutaneous Lesions That Are Similar To Those That Characterize A Smallpox Infection. As With Smallpox, No Effective Medical Treatment Has Been Identified. Here, The Arms And Legs Of A 4 Year Old Girl Infected With Monkeypox. Bondua, Grand Gedeh County, Liberia. (Photo By BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images)
The UK’s first case of Monkeypox has been recorded in Cornwall (File picture: Getty)

The person is believed to have contracted the infection in Nigeria before travelling to the UK.

According to the World Health Organisation, Monkeypox is similar to human smallpox, which was eradicated in 1980, and is transferred from animals to humans.

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Although it is milder than smallpox, it can be fatal and children are most at risk of dying from the disease.

PHE said monkeypox does not spread easily and most patients recover within a few weeks, but it can cause severe illness in some people.

Initial symptoms include fever, headache, aching muscles, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

UNDATED ? MAY 27: In this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention handout graphic, symptoms of one of the first known cases of the monkeypox virus are shown on a patient?s hand May 27, 2003. The CDC said the viral disease monkeypox, thought to be spread by prairie dogs, has been detected in the Americas for the first time with about 20 cases reported in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. (Photo Courtesy of CDC/Getty Images)
Monkeypox can cause severe illness in some people (Picture: Getty)

A rash can also develop, usually starting on the face before spreading to other parts of the body. It eventually forms a scab which falls off.

PHE said that as a precautionary measure, it is working with experts in the NHS to contact a number of people who were on the same flight as the patient.

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It has not been revealed whether the patient is a member of the military, or what gender they are.

PHE said in a statement: ‘People without symptoms are not considered infectious but, as a precaution, those who have been in close proximity are being contacted to ensure that if they do become unwell they can be treated quickly.’

The organisation said passengers that are not contacted should not worry.

UNDATED ? JUNE 5: In this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention handout graphic, symptoms of one of the first known cases of the monkeypox virus are shown on a patient?s hand June 5, 2003. The CDC said the viral disease monkeypox, thought to be spread by prairie dogs, has been detected in the Americas for the first time with about 20 cases reported in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. (Photo Courtesy of CDC/Getty Images)
Monkeypox can start with a rash on the face before spreading to other parts of the body (Picture: Getty)

Dr Michael Jacobs, clinical director of infection at the Royal Free Hospital, said: ‘Monkeypox is, in most cases, a mild condition which will resolve on its own and have no long-term effects on a person’s health.

‘Most people recover within several weeks.

‘It is a rare disease caused by monkeypox virus, and has been reported mainly in central and west African countries.

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‘It does not spread easily between people and the risk of transmission to the wider public is very low.

‘We are using strict isolation procedures in hospital to protect our staff and patients.’

Dr Nick Phin, deputy director of the National Infection Service at PHE, said: ‘PHE and the NHS have well established and robust infection control procedures for dealing with cases of imported and infectious disease and these will be strictly followed to minimise the risk of transmission.’

Monkeypox was first identified in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo when a nine-year-old boy was diagnosed.

Since then, the majority of cases have been reported in rural areas of the Congo and western Africa.

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