The UK has currently confirmed 20 cases of monkeypox with over 80 other cases being detected across the globe.
Monkeypox is a viral disease primarily affecting rodents and primates in rainforest areas of west and central Africa. It has some relation to smallpox and in rare cases, it is transmitted to humans.
The latest information from UK health officials is that close contacts of monkeypox infections with the highest risk of exposure should self-isolate for 21 days.
UK officials are ready for a significant rise in infections this week with plans in place to reduce the spread of the disease, cases of which have been detected in London and the south of the country.
The disease is transmitted from person to person through close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets, and contaminated materials such as bedding.
Many professionals are unsure of where the disease has come from with the UK government saying the spread was not based on international travel.
The incubation period of monkeypox is usually six to 13 days but it can range from five to 21 days.
Symptoms of the disease include a high temperature, headaches, muscle aches, swollen glands, shivering and exhaustion. A rash usually appears after the first couple of days spreading from the face down to the rest of the body.
What are the symptoms of monkeypox, and when should you seek medical attention?
UK Health Security Agency Chief Medical Advisor Dr Susan Hopkins sets out what to look for, and describes it as a "self-limiting mild illness" #SundayMorning https://t.co/jgog78fzRb pic.twitter.com/YCN9anQpHF
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) May 22, 2022
It is very hard to catch from other infected individuals and it is usually caught from infected animals. The illness for many is mild and the chances of catching it in the UK at this current moment is very low.
Cases are much more prevalent in people who identify as gay or bisexual or men who have sex with other men as the disease can also be spread through sexual intercourse.
Public Health England is doing its best to shut down the spread of the virus as quickly as it can by taking extra precautions.
Those that are at a greater risk of suffering from monkeypox will be offered a smallpox vaccine by Public Health England to reduce the severity of the illness and give them extra protection against the disease.
The government has assured the public that we are not having another repeat of covid-19 because monkeypox is a known virus and so we already have resources to help control the virus.
Although cases are expected to rise, there is no immediate panic from professionals who believe the virus will be brought back under control.