A positive case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Hertfordshire, health chiefs have said.

What is believed to be the county's first case is now one of 20 confirmed in England as fears continue to grow over the disease.

The county council declined to specify where in Herts it was, but added plans are in place to manage monkeypox and administer vaccines if necessary.

A spokesperson for Hertfordshire County Council said: "We can confirm that a positive case of monkeypox has been identified in Hertfordshire.

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“Close contacts are being contacted and are being given the appropriate health information and advice.

“Our resident was extremely prompt and proactive in seeking clinical attention, and we wish them a full and speedy recovery.”

Monkeypox is not specific to any gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity and it is most likely to be transmitted via close physical contact.

The council is urging people with a recent history of travel to West Africa and gay and bisexual men to be aware of unusual rashes or lesions especially on their faces or genitals and to contact NHS 111 if they have any concerns.

The spokesperson added: “If you have concerns, please ring 111 first and do not attend a clinic or service in person before telephoning.”

The UK Health Security Agency, NHS, local community groups and council will roll out plans to ensure people with monkeypox get the correct treatment.

The council said: “We will ensure close contacts are traced and offered appropriate prophylaxis including vaccination where necessary. 

“All NHS services have been advised. The infection can be distressing but is mild and rare.”

According to the NHS, symptoms of monkeypox include, but are not limited to, a high temperature, a headache and muscle aches.

A rash usually appears one to five days after the first symptoms. It often begins on the face, then spreads to other parts of the body.

The symptoms usually clear up in two to four weeks.

West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust spokesperson said: “We have robust clinical pathways and procedures in place to manage the current situation in line with national guidance.”

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