More than 300 cases of monkeypox have now been identified in England.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) announced that it has detected 18 additional cases of monkeypox in England, bringing England’s total to 305.
Officials have also found another case in Scotland, bringing the total number of cases there to 11.
Across the UK, 321 cases have been identified up to June 7, including two in Northern Ireland and three in Wales, UKHSA said.
It comes after the virus became a so-called “notifiable disease” in England, meaning all medics must alert local health authorities to suspected cases.
— NHS North East London CCG (City and Hackney) (@NHS_CityHackney) June 8, 2022
The UKHSA said that the outbreak is “disproportionately” affecting gay or bisexual men who have sex with men.
Anyone can get monkeypox, particularly if you have had close contact, including sexual contact, with an individual with symptoms, it added.
Monkeypox is not normally a sexually transmitted infection, but it can be passed on by direct contact during sex.
It can also be spread through touching clothing, bedding or towels used by someone with the monkeypox rash.
According to the UKHSA, monkeypox does not usually spread easily between people and the overall risk to the UK population remains low.
People with a rash with blisters are advised to contact a sexual health clinic if they have been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox or if they have travelled to West or Central Africa in the last three weeks.