First cases of monkeypox confirmed at Royal Stoke University Hospital

Monkeypox patients are now being treated at the Royal Stoke University Hospital.

Board members at University Hospitals of North Midlands were told that a small number of people with the disease were currently being treated within the Royal Stoke's infectious disease unit.There have so far been 2,759 confirmed or highly probable cases of monkeypox in the UK, with the majority of these in London.

Most of the monkeypox patients at the Royal Stoke have been transferred there from elsewhere, due to the hospital being a regional centre for infectious diseases.

Paul Bytheway, chief operating officer, told the board that you could count the number of cases at the Royal Stoke 'on one hand'.

He said: "Most of the patients have been referred into us, given our status as an infectious diseases unit.

"We're holding a side room on our infectious diseases unit for that.

"So patients don't have to go through the emergency department or anything like that, they're taken straight to the negative pressure room on ward 117."

Chief nurse Ann-Marie Riley told the meeting that hospital bosses were keeping a close eye on the situation.

She said: "We've got a really robust process for identifying cases, isolating and contact tracing.

"The numbers are still relatively small – in London it's a different picture, and some of the actions they've had to take in the South have been different to what we've had to do here. It's still relatively small but we do monitor it closely."

The latest figures from the UK Health Security show that as of August 1, there had been 76 confirmed or highly probably monkeypox cases in the West Midlands region, compared to 1,906 in London.

How can you catch Monkeypox?

  • Monkeypox can be passed on from person to person through close physical contact with monkeypox blisters or scabs; touching clothing, bedding or towels used by someone with monkeypox; or through the coughs or sneezes of a person with monkeypox.

  • The outbreak in the UK has mainly been in among gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men.

  • If you get infected with monkeypox, it usually takes between five to 21 days for the first symptoms to appear.

What are the initial symptoms?

  • High temperature

  • Headache

  • Muscle aches

  • Backache

  • Swollen glands

  • Shivering (chills)

  • Exhaustion

  • Joint pain.

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