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Hospital worker who caught monkeypox blames ‘pathetically small’ NHS gloves  

A hospital worker who became the third person in the UK to be struck down with deadly monkeypox has blamed ‘pathetically small’ NHS gloves for failing to protect her – and fears she may have passed it to her builder husband.

The 40-year-old mother-of-two, from Fleetwood, Lancashire, is thought to have caught the possibly fatal virus while changing bedding at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

The healthcare assistant, who has not been identified, developed flu-like symptoms after working at the hospital where the previous two victims were diagnosed, The Sun reports.

Her 50-year-old husband was also feared to have the disease after his face broke out in spots.

The 40-year-old mother-of-two, from Fleetwood, Lancashire, is thought to have caught the possibly fatal virus while changing bedding at Blackpool Victoria Hospital (above, file photo)

The woman is the first person to catch monkeypox in the UK. The previous two victims caught the virus in Nigeria before travelling to the UK.

She is now being treated by doctors in the specialist unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle.

The woman has said the gloves provided by the NHS were the reason she got infected.

‘The gloves were too short to cover my arms and left my skin exposed while changing the bed. I think that’s how I got infected,’ she said, according to The Sun.

‘They told us we weren’t at risk – but that’s obviously nonsense. I’m terrified about what may happen to me and my family.’

Public Health England revealed the unidentified medic had treated the second patient at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

However, officials on Wednesday said she had come into contact with the patient before they were confirmed to have monkeypox.

Officials believe both the first two patients caught the virus, often spread through handling monkeys and proves fatal in 10 per cent of cases, in Nigeria before flying to England

Officials believe the unidentified patient caught the infection, fatal in 10 per cent of cases, in Nigeria before flying to England (stock)

Officials believe the unidentified patient caught the infection, fatal in 10 per cent of cases, in Nigeria before flying to England (stock)

The medical professional is now being treated by doctors in the specialist unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle (pictured) 

The medical professional is now being treated by doctors in the specialist unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle (pictured) 

Dr Nick Phin, deputy director, of the National Infection Service at PHE, said: ‘This healthcare worker cared for the patient before a diagnosis of monkeypox was made. 

‘We have been actively monitoring contacts for 21 days after exposure to detect anyone presenting with an illness so that they can be assessed quickly. 

‘It is therefore not wholly unexpected that a case has been identified.

‘This person has been isolated and we are taking a highly precautionary approach to ensure that all contacts are traced.’ 

PHE said it was following up with close contacts of the new patient to provide advice and monitor their health. 

The Government agency is also seeking to make contact with anyone who made contact with the individual in the 24 hours before they noticed a rash.

The viral disease was recorded for the first time in the UK on September 7 in a Nigerian national staying at a naval base in Cornwall.

The patient was transferred to the expert infectious disease unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London the following day.

The virus was recorded for the first time in the UK on Friday, September 7 in a Nigerian national staying  in Cornwall, who is now being treated at the Royal Free Hospital in London (pictured)

The virus was recorded for the first time in the UK on Friday, September 7 in a Nigerian national staying in Cornwall, who is now being treated at the Royal Free Hospital in London (pictured)

Public Health England said the second patient was receiving treatment at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, a specialist centre, on September 11 (pictured)

Public Health England said the second patient was receiving treatment at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, a specialist centre, on September 11 (pictured)

A second person was then confirmed to have been struck down with the virus on September 11. 

The unidentified patient first went to Blackpool Victoria Hospital with symptoms, before they tested positive for monkeypox. They were then sent for treatment at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, a specialist centre.

Further information on the state of the first two patients has not yet been released.

WHAT IS MONKEYPOX?

Monkeypox – often caught through handling monkeys – is a rare viral disease that kills around 10 per cent of people it strikes, according to figures.

The virus responsible for the disease is found mainly in the tropical areas of west and central Africa.

Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958, with the first reported human case in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1970. Human cases were recorded for the first time in the US in 2003 and the UK in September 2018.

It resides in wild animals but humans can catch it through direct contact with animals, such as handling monkeys, or eating inadequately cooked meat. 

The virus can enter the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract, or the eyes, nose or mouth.

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. 

Symptoms usually appear within five and 21 days of infection. These include a fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills and fatigue.

The most obvious symptom is a rash, which usually appears on the face before spreading to other parts of the body. This then forms skin lesions that scab and fall off.

Monkeypox is usually mild, with most patients recovering within a few weeks without treatment. Yet, the disease can often prove fatal.

Source: Gov.uk

Officials believe both the first two patients caught the virus, often spread through handling monkeys and proves fatal in 10 per cent of cases, in Nigeria before flying to England. 

Nigeria was hit hard by a virulent outbreak of monkeypox last September, with 89 people infected and six deaths recorded in March.

The country had not previously reported a case of the disease since 1978.

The most recent government figures, released last year, estimate there are 190,000 people that were born in Nigeria who currently live in the UK. 

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that was first discovered in monkeys in 1958. While similar to smallpox, it is not as deadly.

The first case in a human was discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1970, and since cases have been reported in central and west African countries.  

Initial symptoms include fever, headache and chills. As the illness develops large welts can appear over the face and body.

Monkeypox resides in wild animals but humans can catch it through direct contact with animals, such as handling monkeys, or eating inadequately cooked meat.

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. 

Most people who contract the disease recover within a few weeks, but in up to 10 per cent of cases it is fatal.

It comes after an eminent virologist earlier this month told MailOnline monkeypox infects 10 per cent of people who come into contact with sufferers.

Professor Earl Brown, at the University of Ottawa, said hospital staff treating the patient at are particularly at risk of catching the deadly virus.

Thirty-seven people were confirmed to have been struck down by monkeypox in an outbreak in the US in 2003.

It was the first time the disease, which had been confirmed in five states, had been reported in humans outside of Africa.

Monkeypox was two years ago named as one of 37 viruses that pose a potential threat to populations around the world.

University of Edinburgh listed the virus among MERS and two strains of Ebola, a haemorrhagic fever responsible for a brutal pandemic in 2014. 

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