AS monkeypox cases continue to soar globally, pregnant women have been warned to be wary of the signs and symptoms.
Most people who get the bug will have a mild illness, but it can be particularly dangerous for the most vulnerable in society.
So far, the majority of cases have been seen in men, but the infection is easily transmissible as it's passed through skin to skin contact.
Experts at the World Health Organization (WHO) have this week warned that the continuous spread of the virus is worrying for certain groups of people.
"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."
Pregnant women are more susceptible to illness, due to the fact that their immune system is compromised.
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When you're pregnant, certain parts of your immune system are enhanced as you grow a fetus, while others are dampened.
But during this time, your immune system is in a state of flux – as it constantly tries to keep up with your ever changing body.
It's because of this that pregnant women are in danger, as they become more vulnerable to viruses such as monkeypox and Covid-19.
Infections of the bug have now hit more than 3,400 globally.
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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).
The NHS states that the first signs of the illness include a high temperature, headaches and muscle aches.
Many women experience aches, especially back ache during pregnancy, so if it's accompanied by other symptoms, you should seek medical attention.
Other key symptoms include swollen glands, shivering and exhaution.
However, The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) said some patients are experiencing unusual symptoms such as issues with their stools and rashes in the tissue lining the mouth.
In a report from the CDC, medics explained that while rashes are common, they don't usually feature in the tissue in the lining of the mouth.
Other patients have said rashes have caused them to experience pain in the anus and rectum and in some cases, rectal bleeding has occurred.
Many have also had painful inflammation of the rectal lining – with others experiencing the sensation of having to poo when their bowels are actually empty.
The World Health Organisation's Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: "It’s now clear that there is an unusual situation, meaning even the virus is behaving unusually from how it used to behave in the past."
Details from the CDC report state that for some people who have the bug, rashes have been either 'scattered or localised' to a specific part of the body.
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However, medics also stated that common flu-like symptoms that often occur with cases of monkeypox 'have not always occurred before the rash if they have occurred at all.'
People who have contracted monkeypox will usually start to experience symptoms five to 21 days after initial infection.
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