PARENTS have been warned to look out for signs of monkeypox in their children as cases continue to rise.
Infections have now hit more than 3,400 globally and medics say if it keeps spreading, the bug could reach the most vulnerable.
The latest data from the UK states that there are currently 1,076 cases across the country, a jump of 32 per cent on last week.
In the US, infections have also been climbing with 351 being recorded by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC).
So far, experts investigating the outbreak have said cases have been in adults, with the majority being detected in men.
Now the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that it is investigating reports of infections in two children in the UK as well as kids in France and Spain.
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WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: "I'm concerned about sustained transmission because it would suggest the virus establishing itself and it could move into high-risk groups including children, the immunocompromised and pregnant women."
Monkeypox is spread through close physical contact, meaning it's easily transmissible.
While symptoms of the illness are the same in adults and kids, children are at higher risk of dying from the bug, as their immune systems are not yet fully developed.
It's important that you know the signs to look out for, especially in little ones, who might not be able to explain how they are feeling.
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The NHS says the first signs of the illness are:
- High temperature
- Muscle aches
- Swollen glands
- Shivering (chills)
Dr Susan Hopkins, a chief medical adviser at the UKHSA, explained that the illness is "relatively mild" in adults, with young children thought to be more at risk.
Initial symptoms are usually "non-specific", Dr Hopkins said, and are like "a viral illness".
A chickenpox-type rash later spreads across parts of the body.
The rash usually affects the face, hands and arms, but can spread to genital areas.
"It starts as red spots and moves to vesicles – those are blister-type lesions that are a bit like chickenpox," Dr Hopkins said.
"They scab over and once the scabs have fallen off, they're no longer infectious."
Medics say the fatality rate in children is between 1 per cent and 15 per cent.
People who have contracted monkeypox will usually start to experience symptoms five to 21 days after initial infection.
Most of the time, children will experience the same symptoms as adults.
If you think your little one is unwell then you should always seek medical attention.
The NHS states that a rash usually appears one to five days after the symptoms.
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It's important that parents also look out for signs that their child is feeling generally unwell.
If your child is exhausted they might become irritable and not enjoy the things they usually do.
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