At least one person in England has been diagnosed with a rare viral infection known as monkeypox, Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed.
The patient, who was not identified, is from southwest England but likely contracted the disease while visiting Nigeria, officials said in a news release on Wednesday and is now being treated at St. Thomas’ Hospital Trust in London.
Monkeypox is a rare disease that does not spread easily between people.
It’s considered mild and typically occurs in remote parts of central and west Africa, according to the World Health Organization.
The virus lives in animals but can be transmitted to humans.
In 2017, Nigeria experienced its first outbreak of the viral illness since 1978, according to WHO
. England reported three monkeypox cases in September 2018, marking the first-ever cases of monkeypox in Britain.
Most people who contract monkeypox recover within a few weeks, though severe and sometimes fatal cases can occur. Symptoms often include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion, according to PHE, which noted a rash can also develop with monkeypox.
In the news release, PHE said its experts are “working closely with NHS colleagues to implement rapid infection control procedures, including contacting people who might have been in close contact with the individual to provide information and health advice.” Passengers who travelled on the same flight as the infected person may be contacted by health officials.