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Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs today that the UK is currently dealing with an outbreak of monkeypox.

The news arrives as two people continue to be monitored after the virus was identified in North Wales.

It has caused unease across the UK as the world continues to fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

Monkeypox often starts with a rash before red spots appear and spread across the body, turning into red bumps filled with fluid.

These are often accompanied by flu-like symptoms such as high temperature, muscle aches and swollen glands.

But transmission of the disease is "limited", the World Heath Organisation has said


The infectious disease has a number of symptoms to watch out for
(Image: Internet Unknown)

Mr Hancock described it as "absolutely standard" while addressing MPs at the Health and Social Select Committee.

Richard Firth Consultant in Health Protection at Public Health Wales, said: "Confirmed cases of monkeypox are a rare event in the UK, and the risk to the general public is very low.

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“We have worked with multi agency colleagues, following tried and tested protocols and procedures, and identified all close contacts.

"Actions have been put in place to minimise the likelihood of further infection.

Here is what we know so far, how you could contract monkeypox and the symptoms to look out for.

What is monkeypox?

But Matt Hancock described it as "absolutely standard"
(Image: Getty Images)

Monkeypox is zoonosis – meaning it is transmitted from animals to humans.

Some people can develop more serious symptoms and it can be fatal.

According to the NHS, monkeypox is usually a mild illness that will get better on its own without treatment.

When it does prove to be fatal, The WHO state that most deaths occur in younger age groups.

What are the symptoms?

The UK is dealing with an outbreak of monkeypox, it has been confirmed
(Image: Getty Images)

There are a number of symptoms to look out for.

A high temperature and headache are just two, doctors tell us.

Muscle ache, backache as well as swollen glands can also be a condition.

Chills and exhaustion are also to be looked out for.

How do you contract monkeypox?

It does not spread easily between people, medics say,

But there are a number of possible ways to catch, they warn.

Touching items like clothing, bedding or towels that has been used by an infected person is one example.

You can also be infected by touching monkeypox spots or scabs.

If someone with it coughs or sneezes near you is also a way of contracting the disease.

What if I get it?

Cases are often found close to tropical rainforests where there are animals that carry the virus
(Image: Star Tribune via Getty Images)

Monkeypox can often be confused with other infections, like chickenpox.

Diagnosis come after an examination by a specialist.

The NHS advises: "When there is a case, health professionals will aim to contact anyone who has been in close contact with the infected person.

"If you have not been contacted, be reassured you are extremely unlikely to catch monkeypox."