Monkeypox has arrived in Wales after weeks of spreading in England and recently arriving in Scotland.

Public Health Wales has said the first case has been identified in the country, and urged people to be cautious.

This is everything you need to know about monkeypox and its similarities with smallpox.

What is monkeypox and why is it called that?

Monkeypox is a rare infection that spreads mainly among wild animals in parts of west or central Africa.

The disease was first discovered in monkeys kept for research in 1958 which is where it gets its name.

South Wales Argus:

The first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the risk of catching it in the UK is generally very low.

How are Monkeypox and Smallpox similar?

It is caused by the Monkeypox virus which comes from a subset of the Poxviridae family of viruses known as Orthopoxvirus.

This virus family also includes smallpox, vaccinia and cowpox viruses.

Monkeypox symptoms

The symptoms of monkeypox are also fairly similar to but milder than Smallpox symptoms. 

Since they are closely related, the smallpox vaccine can provide protection against infection from both viruses.

The main difference between their symptoms is that monkeypox causes lymph nodes to swell (lymphadenopathy) while smallpox does not.

These are the symptoms you should be aware of that are related to Monkeypox.

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Aching muscles
  • Backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion

Infected people usually start to show symptoms between five and 21 days after infection.

The UKHSA has advised that the initial symptoms include "fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion."

The government added that a rash can develop which often begins on the face and can then spread to other parts of the body.

The rash can change and go through different stages before it finally forms a scab and falls off.