Cases of monkeypox are being investigated in European countries, including the UK as well as the US, Canada and Australia.
Monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus, a member of the same family of viruses as smallpox, although it is much less severe and experts say chances of infection are low.
It occurs mostly in remote parts of central and west African countries, near tropical rainforests.
There are two main strains of virus - west African and central African.
Two of the infected patients in the UK travelled from Nigeria, so it is likely that they are suffering from the West African strain of the virus, which is generally mild, but this is as yet unconfirmed.
Another case was a healthcare worker who picked up the virus from one of the patients.
More recent cases do not have any known links with each other, or any history of travel. It appears they caught it in the UK from spread in the community.
The UKHSA says anyone with concerns that they could be infected should see a health professional, but make contact with the clinic or surgery ahead of a visit.
Initial symptoms include fever, headaches, swellings, back pain, aching muscles and a general listlessness.
Once the fever breaks a rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body, most commonly the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
The infection usually clears up on its own and lasts between 14 and 21 days.
Experts say we are not on the brink of a national outbreak and, according to Public Health England, the risk to the public is low.
Prof Jonathan Ball, professor of molecular virology, University of Nottingham, said: "The fact that only one of the 50 contacts of the initial monkeypox-infected patient has been infected shows how poorly infectious the virus is.
"It is wrong to think that we are on the brink of a nationwide outbreak."
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Source: BBC News, 20 May 2022