Monkeypox scare: No new cases after 'precautionary' measures at Fleetwood home
Paramedics were sent to a Fleetwood home in full body protective suits as a "precaution", the agency leading the efforts to contain the UK outbreak of monkeypox has confirmed.
One patient was taken to hospital yesterday morning but tests have since confirmed she has not contracted the tropical disease,
The sight of paramedics in white overalls and face masks caused alarm among residents on Addison Road but health officials refused to comment yesterday amid speculation over the reason for the protective gear.
More than 24 hours after the ambulance was spotted on the street, Public Health England has issued a statement confirming it was linked to the agency's monitoring of monkeypox, which has been identified in two Fylde coast patients.
A spokesman said: “As a precaution, we have been asking people who were in close contact with the cases to monitor their health, looking out for symptoms including fever, headache, muscle aches, rash and swollen lymph nodes.
“At this time we have three confirmed cases (nationwide).”
A woman from Fleetwood was the third to be diagnosed after visiting her doctor at the Mountview practice on Dock Street. She had treated another patient at Blackpool Victoria Hospital who it is believed contracted the disease while in Nigeria.
Other patients who attended Mountview on the same day were later offered the smallpox vaccine in a bid to prevent the disease spreading and Punlic Health England have been monitoring the situation.
Addison Road resident Danielle Baines said yesterday the situation has been "concerning", adding that she had been "shocked" by the fact it was so close to her home.
Coun Rita Hewitt, who represents Fleetwood Town Council's Mount ward, which covers Addison Road, said residents needed to be kept informed about monkeypox developments, where possible.
She said: "I always believe that people are less inclined to panic when they have a good idea what is going on.
"If it is clear that a case like that in Addison Road is not monkeypox, people should be kept informed by the relevant body.
"It is easy for the wrong information to get out."
NHS England declined to comment.