A CASE of monkeypox has been identified in the South East.

The UK Heath Security Agency (UKHSA) said two additional cases have been identified in the UK, bringing the total to nine.

One was found in the South East of England, while another was found in London, the UKHSA said.

The agency is yet to give any further, or more exact details, on where the case was found.

Experts said it is possible the new cases were caused by community transmission because the individuals affected have no travel links to a country where monkeypox is endemic.

It means there have now been 20 cases reported since May 6. Recent cases self-identify as gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men.

The Argus: The stages of Monkeypox (UK Health Security Agency)The stages of Monkeypox (UK Health Security Agency)

But the two new cases have no links to the previous ones, the agency said.

Monkeypox can be passed on by direct contact though sex, but is not considered to be a sexually transmitted infection.

Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser at the UKHSA, said: “These latest cases, together with reports of cases in countries across Europe, confirms our initial concerns that there could be spread of monkeypox within our communities.

“UKHSA has quickly identified cases so far and we continue to rapidly investigate the source of these infections and raise awareness among healthcare professionals.

“We are particularly urging men who are gay and bisexual to be aware of any unusual rashes or lesions and to contact a sexual health service without delay if they have concerns. Please contact clinics ahead of your visit.

“We are contacting any identified close contacts of the cases to provide health information and advice.”

The health agency said the virus – which usually causes a mild illness – does not spread easily between people and the risk to the UK population remains low.

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 include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

The first case was a person who had recently travelled to Nigeria, which is where they were believed to have contracted the infection.