Monkeypox outbreak: Number of Scots infected rises to 40

There have now been 40 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Scotland, according to health officials.

Public Health Scotland announced a further six cases of the virus on Monday.

The majority of cases are in adults known to be gay or bisexual men who have sex with men and have had recent European travel within 21 days of the onset of symptoms.

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Last month, it was confirmed that those at higher risk of contracting the virus will be offered a pre-exposure vaccine, according to advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Healthcare workers in high-risk settings will also be offered a vaccine.

Dr Nick Phin, director of public health science and medical director at Public Health Scotland, said: “Cases of monkeypox continue to increase across the UK, with England now reporting over 1,000 cases since the first infection was noticed in May.

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“Although cases are currently relatively low in Scotland, it’s important to remain vigilant. Noticing the signs and symptoms of monkeypox early and taking appropriate action will prevent the infection from establishing a foothold in Scotland which could lead to a significant increase in cases.

“Anyone with an unusual blister-like rash or small number of blister-like sores on any part of their body, including their genital area, should avoid close contact with others and seek medical advice via telephone if they have any concerns.”

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In this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention handout graphic, from 2003, symptoms of one of the first known cases of the monkeypox virus are shown on a patient's hand Pic: CDC/Getty Images