Parents are being told not to worry about their children potentially catching cases of monkeypox, as it is quite rare in youngsters, experts say.

In fact, it is more likely that any rash they have is due to chickenpox or hand, foot and mouth disease.

Researchers who have been looking into the current outbreak, as well as past cases of the disease, say it is rare in children.

Dr David Porter, paediatric infectious diseases consultant, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As a parent with a child that might develop a rash, I don’t think parents should be worried about this being…monkeypox at this stage, because we’re seeing a very low number of cases.

“And in all the previous outbreaks that have occurred outside of Africa over the last few years, we’ve seen very rare numbers of cases in children, so it’s been predominantly in adults anyway.

“And without any contact history with somebody that’s known or strongly felt to have monkeypox, and then if you’ve got a rash at this time of year when we’ve seen lots of rashes from chickenpox and other things in children, hand, foot and mouth disease, then that’s what it’s likely to be.”

It came as the UK Health Security Agency said on Tuesday (May 24) that 71 confirmed cases of monkeypox had been reported in the UK.