The Nigerian government has started an investigation to identify the source of a monkeypox outbreak that has infected two people in the UK.
Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not spread easily between people. It is usually a mild self-limiting illness and most people recover within a few weeks. However, severe illness can occur in some individuals.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said it was cooperating with Public Health England after two apparently unrelated cases of monkeypox were reported in Cornwall and Blackpool.
In a statement, the NCDC said: “Following the recent report of the two cases in the UK, NCDC has been working with the UK’s public health agency… to investigate these cases,” adding that the body was taking steps “to strengthen surveillance, detection and response to cases of monkeypox.”
Monkeypox remains a rare disease and is usually confined to remote parts of central and West Africa, where locals are likely to come into contact with infected wild animals. The disease is often spread through handling monkeys and rodents, health officials say.