The Monkeypox virus has seen raised concern for health organisations with a small outbreak hitting the UK. 

There are 20 cases confirmed in the UK as well as nine other countries outside of Central and West Africa also reporting outbreaks. 

The outbreak has seen the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) share that they recommend high-risk close contacts should isolate for 21 days. 

This means you will not be able to travel and will need to provide details for contact tracing and avoiding direct contact with immunosuppressed people, pregnant women, and children under 12.

Currently, there have been a number of discussions among health organisations concerning how the virus is transmitted with it having unusually high rates in gay and bisexual men.

How is the Monkeypox virus transmitted?

First found in monkeys it is believed that the disease is transmitted through close physical contact with another person.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the transmission of the monkeypox virus happens when a person comes into contact with the virus from an animal, human, or "materials contaminated with the virus."

Adding that " The virus enters the body through broken skin (even if not visible), respiratory tract, or the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth)."

In terms of animal to human transmission, it can occur by a bite or a scratch, direct contact with body fluids or lesion material as well as "indirect contact with lesion material, such as through contaminated bedding."

Whereas human to human transmission primarily occurs through large respiratory droplets however droplets can not travel more than a few feet. 

Plus human to human transmission can also include direct contact with body fluids or lesion material with can include sexual intercourse as well as contaminated clothes. 

Surrey Comet: The stages of Monkeypox. (PA)The stages of Monkeypox. (PA)

What are the symptoms of Monkeypox?

Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, which then spreads to other parts of the body including the genitals.

The rash can look like chickenpox or syphilis, and scabs can form which then fall off.

The incubation period of monkeypox is usually from six to 13 days but can range from five to 21 days.

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox cases are usually found in West Africa, and the virus does not often spread elsewhere.

That is why outbreaks reported in Britain, Portugal, Spain and the United States have caused alarm among public health experts.

The disease, which was first discovered in monkeys, is usually mild but can cause severe illness in some cases.