Britain reports two separate cases of rare monkeypox infection

The patient, only the second in the United Kingdom 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.

Both patients are believed to have contracted this rare zoonosis - transmitted to humans from animals - in Nigeria before traveling to England and were diagnosed days apart.

Second UK case of monkeypox diagnosed at Blackpool hospitalBut this afternoon, bosses at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals said there had been no cases in Preston or Chorley, contrary to rumour.

Dr Mike Beadsworth, clinical director of the Tropical and Infectious Diseases Unit at Liverpool University Hospital, said there is no risk to other staff, patients or visitors.

Nick Phin, deputy director of the national infection service at PHE, said the monkeypox virus was likely to be circulating in Nigeria after a large outbreak there in 2017, and could therefore affect travellers returning to Britain.

"Since the re-emergence of Monkeypox in Nigeria in September 2017, NCDC has continued to receive reports and respond to cases of the disease from states across the country".

Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that occurs mostly in remote parts of central and west Africa, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

"The NCDC has also been working closely with states across the country to strengthen surveillance, detection and response to cases of Monkeypox", he said. Monkeypox is milder than smallpox but it can also be fatal.

"Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting from 14 to 21 days".

The disease was first discovered in monkeys kept for research in 1958. Initial symptoms can include fever, headache, loss of appetite, muscle aches and swollen lymph nodes, Schaffner said.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed this on Wednesday, saying it is working with UK's public health agency to investigate the cases.

It can pass between humans via droplets in the air, and by touching the skin of an infected individual, or touching objects contaminated by them. The lesions progress to become small, fluid-filled blisters before scabbing over and falling off.

Monkeypox can appear similar in appearance to chickenpox.

The patient travelled to Nigeria where they are believed to have acquired the infection.

Health officials are seeking to trace anyone who might have been in contact with the patient.

"Public Health England is following up those who have had close contact with the patient to offer advice and to monitor them as necessary".