Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not spread easily between people, the agency said, calling the overall risk to the general public “very low”.
“Infection can spread when someone is in close contact with an infected person; however, there is a very low risk of transmission to the general population,” the statement read.
The patient is believed to have contracted the infection in Nigeria, the UKHSA said, before recently traveling to the UK. He or she is receiving treatment in London at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust’s specialist infectious disease and isolation unit.
According to the UKHSA, early symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion.
The UKHSA said it would contact people “who may be in close contact with the individual to provide health information and advice” as a precautionary measure.
Rodents, including animals kept as pets, and monkeys can transmit smallpox from monkeys and pass it on to people. The CDC investigated a case in a traveler to Dallas last year.