General Article The recent monkeypox outbreak is a reminder that our interconnected world has its dangers

Topic Selected: Global Health Book Volume: 419

These cases show how our modern, mobile, interconnected world, which enables us to travel quickly from continent to continent, does make countries across the globe more vulnerable to occasional imported infections.

By Jimmy Whitworth

The report of two apparently unconnected cases of monkeypox in the UK within one week was a surprise for public health officials. No cases of the virus had been reported previously in the UK, or even more widely in Europe.

The two cases had both travelled to the UK from Nigeria, where they would have contracted their infections. There have been reports of an increase in cases of monkeypox in Nigeria and elsewhere in west Africa in the past few months, and this is likely to explain why we have seen these infections for the first time in the UK.

A third case has now been reported, this time in a healthcare worker who was infected in the UK while caring for one of the imported cases. Public Health England has said that the transmission occurred before the ...

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