A DOCTOR has cleared up some common misconceptions about a virus which is spreading across the country.

According to the latest data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), 78 cases of Monkeypox have been identified in the UK since May 7 – however none of them were found in Lancashire.

Doctor Abdul Mannan, of Hazelvalley Family Practice in Haslingden, says locals shouldn’t be afraid of the disease, which can cause flu-like symptoms and blisters to form on your body.

He said: “We have briefed our staff about monkeypox… but I want to tell the public that there is nothing to worry about.”

He added that monkeypox is unlikely to escalate into another pandemic in the same way Covid has, as it is less transmissible.

Lancashire Telegraph: Doctor Abdul Mannan,Doctor Abdul Mannan,

He said: “The transmission of monkeypox is entirely different to Covid.

“Covid was very airborne and you didn’t necessarily have to be in close proximity to a person in order to catch it.

“But with monkeypox, you’re going to need direct person-to-person contact or to come into contact with cough or sneeze droplets.

Lancashire Telegraph: MonkeypoxMonkeypox

“If we were just breathing in the same room you’re probably not going to catch it.”

However, if you were to catch this disease could it be deadly? Doctor Mannan says no and the strain currently circulating in the UK is the weaker version.

He said: “It’s not deadly.

“There are two distinct strains of monkeypox and the central African version is a bit stronger than the west African – and it’s the west African strain that is in the UK at the moment.”

Some of the most Googled questions about monkeypox ask if it is a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

The UK Health Security Agency even issues a statement urging gay and bisexual men to be “particularly alert” about signs and symptoms of the disease.



However, Doctor Mannan added that anyone can get the disease and it doesn’t only affect gay people.

He said: “It mainly spreads via ‘skin to skin contact’ part may be where this misconception is coming from.

“Coughs and sneezes can also spread the virus and there could be droplet exchanges from the sharing of a drink.”

While the disease can be spread through sexual contact, it is not an STD.

According to the NHS website, monkeypox can be caught from infected wild animals in parts of west and central Africa. It's thought to be spread by rodents, such as rats, mice and squirrels.

You can catch monkeypox from an infected animal if you're bitten or you touch its blood, body fluids, spots, blisters or scabs.

It may also be possible to catch monkeypox by eating meat from an infected animal that has not been cooked thoroughly, or by touching other products from infected animals (such as animal skin or fur).

Monkeypox can also be spread through:

  • touching clothing, bedding or towels used by someone with the monkeypox rash
  • touching monkeypox skin blisters or scabs
  • the coughs or sneezes of a person with the monkeypox rash

Doctor Mannan said the symptoms you are likely to get are akin to a cold.

He said: “It will give you your headaches, a fever and joint aches which you can get with any ‘flu type’ illness.

“If people get it they’re normally fine within two or three weeks which is why Public Health England has suggested the three week isolation in confirmed cases.

“There is no treatment needed except for fluids and rest as it is such a short lived and rare phenomenon.

“There’s also some evidence that people who are vaccinated against smallpox fare better as they are a similar family of viruses.”

Here is a full list of monkeypox symptoms, according to the NHS:

  • a high temperature
  • a headache
  • muscle aches
  • backache
  • swollen glands
  • shivering (chills)
  • exhaustion

A rash usually appears 1 to 5 days after the first symptoms. The rash often begins on the face, then spreads to other parts of the body.

The rash is sometimes confused with chickenpox. It starts as raised spots, which turn into small blisters filled with fluid. These blisters eventually form scabs which later fall off.

The symptoms usually clear up in 2 to 4 weeks.