Two more cases of monkeypox infection reported in England

LONDON (Reuters) - Two more cases of rare viral monkeypox infection have been diagnosed in England, health authorities said on Saturday, adding that they are not linked to one reported a week ago.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said the latest infections involved people living in the same household and an investigation was underway into how they contracted the virus.

One of the individuals is receiving hospital treatment at an expert infectious disease unit, while the other is isolating at home.

"While investigations remain ongoing to determine the source of infection, it is important to emphasise it does not spread easily between people and requires close personal contact with an infected symptomatic person," said Colin Brown, the agency's director of Clinical and Emerging Infections.

"The overall risk to the general public remains very low."

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection similar to human smallpox, which was eradicated in 1980. Although much milder than smallpox, with most infected people recovering within a few weeks, monkeypox can in rare cases be fatal.

The UKHSA said the case diagnosed last week involved a person who had recently travelled to Nigeria.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Mike Harrison)