The deadly monkeypox virus has spread to Britain and mainland Europe and expats on the move could unwittingly contract the infection from a carrier.
Already 50 people on a flight to the UK have been warned they could have been exposed to monkeypox after a Nigerian naval officer travelled to Britain on a commercial flight after contracting the disease.
After he fell ill, doctors diagnosed he was suffering from monkeypox and have warned passengers and crew on the flight to watch out for the symptoms.
Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed this is the first known case of monkeypox in Britain.
The disease is like smallpox and can lead to pus-filled blisters over the body.
“In the absence of specific treatment or vaccine, the only way to reduce infection in people is by raising awareness of the risk factors and educating people about the measures they can take to reduce exposure to the virus,” said PHE.
“Surveillance measures and rapid identification of new cases is critical for outbreak containment.”
The good news is virus is not too contagious between humans but is typically contracted from rodents, such as rats, or primates that are already infected.
To avoid the disease, PHE says the best action is to avoid the blood or meat from wild animals.
“Gloves and other appropriate protective clothing should be worn while handling sick animals or their infected tissues, and during slaughtering procedures,” PHE added.
“It is important to emphasise that monkeypox does not spread easily between people and the overall risk to the general public is very low.”
Monkeypox is rife in some remote parts of tropical Africa.
Symptoms start as a fever, back pain or headache, says the World Health Organisation.
This stage is followed by a rash, especially on the face, hands and soles of the feet.
The final stage is blistering which can last between 10 days and three weeks. During this time, the blisters harden and fall off the skin.
Although monkeypox is like smallpox, the effects are milder, but the virus can be fatal, especially in children or vulnerable adults.
Doctors have no vaccine for treating monkeypox, although smallpox medicines have been proved to relieve symptoms.
Anyone who believes they are suffering for monkeypox should go to hospital immediately.