A FOURTH person in Wales is being treated for monkeypox, health officials have confirmed.

The discovery of the case comes after a leading immunologist warned the virus would require a "substantial public health response".

The person diagnosed with the fourth Welsh case of monkeypox is being "managed appropriately", Public Health Wales said, and no other details are being released to protect patient confidentiality.

Earlier this week, Professor Andrew Pollard said the monkeypox was "extremely unlikely" to spread through the community in the same way as Covid-19.

Speaking after he was being knighted for his role in developing the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, Sir Andrew said monkeypox presents a much lower risk to public health than Covid.

"The monkeypox virus doesn’t spread as well as Covid does, it also very rarely causes the severity of disease that Covid does, and so spread in the general population is extremely unlikely," he said.

“That doesn’t mean that we don’t need a substantial public health response to control it but it’s not a threat to the whole of public health in the way Covid was.”

More than 300 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in the UK in recent weeks - the vast majority in England, where it has been declared a “notifiable disease”, meaning all medics must alert local health authorities to suspected cases.

The Welsh Government is also planning to make monkeypox a notifiable disease.

Previously, Public Health Wales offered the following advice about monkeypox: “We are reassuring people that monkeypox does not usually spread easily between people, and the overall risk to the general public is low. 

"It is usually a mild self-limiting illness, and most people recover within a few weeks.  However, severe illness can occur in some individuals."

“Initial symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. 

"A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body, particularly the hands and feet.  The rash changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab, which later falls off."

Additional reporting by Lucas Cumiskey, PA