Confirmed monkeypox cases in Scotland have now risen to 18, health officials have confirmed.
An update from Public Health Scotland said this was the total of as of noon on Sunday.
It added that the majority of cases were amongst adults known to be gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) and who also reported recent European travel.
Public Health Scotland said that so far “the majority of cases in the UK have been in men age 20 to 50”.
It noted that the illness “appears to be generally mild and not life-threatening” with no reported deaths in the UK to date.
Since early May, more than 2000 monkeypox cases have been reported in more than 30 countries where the virus is not normally seen.
Outbreaks are more common in at least a dozen countries in West and Central Africa where the virus has animal reservoirs. More than 60 cases and one death have been confirmed there this year.
The vast majority of cases in the current outbreak have been in GBMSM. Researchers at the U.K.
The Health Security Agency (UKHSA), for example, asked patients to fill out questionnaires. Of 152 who did, 151 said they were GBMSM, the team wrote in a technical briefing published on June 10 with the remaining patient refusing to answer according to the journal Science.
Monkeypox is a rare infection that is largely found in west or central Africa, spread by wild animals. According to the NHS, the risk of catching it in the UK is very low.
UKHSA has said it is working closely with NHS partners to establish whether there have been any more cases in recent weeks, and international partners to examine whether other countries have seen a similar rise in monkeypox.
The rash, which can develop as part of the virus, changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab, which later falls off. The health agency also said that initial symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.