Three cases of suspected monkeypox have been found in Kent.
A weekly report from the Notifications of Infectious Diseases (NOID) revealed three of the 50 new identified, but as yet unconfirmed, cases were from the county.
As of Monday, August 1, there were 2,672 confirmed and 87 highly probable monkeypox cases in the UK, according to government figures.
Monkeypox became a ‘notifiable infectious disease’ under the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010 on June 8.
This means all doctors in England are required to notify their local council or local Health Protection Team if they suspect a patient has monkeypox.
Laboratories must also notify UKHSA if the monkeypox virus is identified in a laboratory sample.
In July a global emergency was declared by the World Health Organisation after an outbreak in 70 countries.
The disease, which was first discovered in monkeys, is usually mild but can cause severe illness in some cases.
Most monkeypox patients experience only fever, body aches, chills and fatigue, but some may develop a rash and lesions on the face and hands that can spread to other parts of the body.
The rash can look like chickenpox or syphilis, and scabs can form which then fall off.
Most people recover within a few weeks.
The incubation period of monkeypox is usually from six to 13 days, but can range from five to 21 days.
The most likely route of monkeypox transmission is close physical contact, touching clothing, bedding or towels used by someone with the monkeypox rash, or touching monkeypox skin blisters or scabs.
There is a smaller risk of it being spread through coughs and sneezes, and as prolonged face-to-face contact would be needed, this is not one of the main routes of transmission for the monkeypox virus.