Health chiefs issue urgent monkeypox warning to doctors and nurses as it’s revealed the deadly virus can be spread via contaminated bedding, towels, coughs and sneezes

-Medics must not touch suspected monkeypox patients with bare hands

-If visited by a patient they should stop using the room until it’s decontaminated

-The advice was released yesterday after two cases appeared within a week

-Both patients travelled from Nigeria and have the UK’s first cases of the virus

Health chiefs have issued an urgent monkeypox warning telling doctors and nurses to avoid touching suspected cases with their bare hands.

Public Health England (PHE) gave out the official guidance yesterday after a second patient was struck down with the killer virus in the UK.

Officials revealed monkeypox can be spread through contact with clothing or linen, such as bedding or towels, used by an infected person.

They said medics must wear gloves when touching patients who could be infected and practise good hand hygiene because the disease can spread between people via a rash which develops into skin lesions which later scab and fall off.

Officials on Friday confirmed the first ever case of the virus in the UK, in a Nigerian naval officer who had the virus and travelled to Cornwall for military training.

And yesterday they revealed a second case in the country, being treated at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital (RLUH) – but added the two were unrelated.

The monkeypox virus is predominantly transmitted to people from various wild animals such as rodents and primates.

But, health officials have revealed that the virus has a limited secondary spread through human-to-human transmission.

The virus enters the body through broken skin (even if not visible), the respiratory tract, or the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth).

And while person-to-person spread is very uncommon, it may occur through contact with clothing or linens (such as bedding or towels) used by an infected person; direct contact with monkeypox skin lesions or scabs and coughing or sneezing of an individual with a monkeypox rash.

However there is said to be a very low risk of transmission to the general population.

The government confirmed over the weekend that a naval officer visiting the UK from Nigeria was diagnosed with the rare disease and receiving treatment in hospital.

The hospital is an expert centre for infectious respiratory diseases and Public Health officials confirmed the second patient tested positive for the rare disease.

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