Two Britons are afflicted with monkeypox, a deadly virus, announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock. He made the statement when he was giving an update to the Members of Parliament about the status of the coronavirus pandemic. During his report, Hancock also mentioned an outbreak of the rare virus.

The situation of the rare disease

This incident was regarded as "perfectly unremarkable" by the Health Secretary, who insisted that it was normal and that infections like these occur frequently. Hancock did not specify how many patients are involved or if the virus was spreading in the UK.

The two cases of the viral disease were confirmed by Public Health Wales. Both patients are from the same North Wales household. Their ages and genders were not disclosed. Just one of the patients is still hospitalized, reported the Daily Mail. Upon investigation by authorities, the infected acquired it early May but remained under quarantine, as ordered by COVID travel guidelines.

What happens to the infected?

Monkeypox is a rare disease that occurs in the tropics, which comes with symptoms that is like the flu. It also causes unsightly blisters on the skin. Its carriers are small mammals like rats, squirrels, and monkeys too. It can spread to other people through skin-to-skin contact, sneezing and coughs, as well as touching the clothes and beddings of those infected.

Compared to the COVID-19, which can easily jump from one human to another, person-to-person infection does not happen too much with monkeypox.

Read also: Bird Flu May Be Capable of Erasing the Human Race, Will Be Worse Than Coronavirus?

According to a paper released by the World Health Organization (WHO), the real rate of infection in monkeypox is likely much lower because "distinctive symptoms greatly aid in its early detection and containment," the team said. Meaning, it is easy to spot cases and isolate them. As contrasted to COVID-19, the strain causes fewer complications than the delta strain.

Despite being easily detected, monkeypox is a disease that should not be taken lightly. Up to 10 percent of people who become ill with monkeypox die. Most deaths from the virus occur in younger age groups, according to the WHO.

Hancock, in his report, recognized the role the current pandemic played in the cases of the monkeypox infection. The two Britons were following health protocols for COVID-19, which kept them isolated and prevented others from coming in contact with the virus. 

Discussing the pre-Covid trace and isolate system with MPs on the Health and Select Committee today, Mr. Hancock said that this particular system was built for "very important but very small outbreaks."

Other details

'Reported cases of monkeypox are a rare occurrence in the UK, and the risk to the wider populace is very modest,' said Richard Firth, a health protection specialist at Public Health Wale, mentioned Newsbreak.

It is illegal for those living in England to travel abroad until May 17th, with individuals risking a £5,000 fine should they go on a vacation without a justified reason. Those afflicted with monkeypox are still under observation.

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