Monkeypox has been added to the list of notifiable diseases, meaning that anyone who is infected is required to immediately inform the authorities.

A spokesperson for the health ministry told Times of Malta the Superintendent for Public Health had added the infectious virus to the list of disesases requiring notification, but that there still are no known cases of the disease in Malta as of Saturday afternoon.

The spokesperson said any suspected cases of monkeypox would be clinically assessed in order to determine whether the patient required hospital care.

Patients requiring medical care in hospital will be admitted to the Infectious Diseases Unit.

If no specialised medial care is required, infected patients will be asked to isolate themselves in their homes.

Monekypox now joins a list of 72 infectious diseases which are notifiable in Malta.

The European Centres for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said on Friday that of the 38 confirmed cases worldwide so far, 37 of them have no history of travel to endemic countries.

The centre said that as of May 16, there is a multi-country outbreak of monkeypox affecting the UK, countries in the EU as well as North America.

The ECDC said that two cases registered on May 14 in the UK were unrelated to a previous one reported a week earlier and that was linked to travel to Nigeria.

As of Thursday, there were 14 cases of the virus reported in Portugal, nine in the UK, seven in Spain, two in Belgium, and one each in France, Italy and Sweden.

Two cases were registered in Canada and one in the US.

The first recorded human case of this viral disease dates back to 1970.

The symptoms of the virus are similar to, but milder than, smallpox.

A patient is likely to first develop fever, a headache, muscle pain and swollen lymph nodes.

One may also experience exhaustion, and within one to three days of the first symptoms, a rash often begins on the face and spreads to other parts of the body.

The illness typically lasts for two to four weeks.

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