Two cases of monkeypox have been reported in Essex as the UK total reaches more than 500.

Further cases of monkeypox have been found in England, bringing the UK total to 524.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said a further 104 cases had been confirmed in England as of June 12.

Two of those cases were reported in Essex according to a statutory report, with one confirmed in Epping Forest and another in the Thurrock area.

The UKHSA detected 52 additional cases of monkeypox in England, as of June 14, with one additional case in Scotland and one in Wales bringing the total number confirmed in the UK to 524.

There are currently 504 confirmed cases in England, 13 in Scotland, 2 in Northern Ireland and 5 in Wales.

Read more >>> How to tell the difference between monkeypox and chickenpox in children

Most cases so far have been in men who are gay, bisexual or have sex with men.

The UKHSA advises that anyone with a rash with blisters should contact a sexual health clinic if they have also had close contact, including sexual contact, with someone who has or might have had monkeypox in the past three weeks, or if they have travelled to West or Central Africa in the past three weeks.

Monkeypox has become a notifiable disease in England, meaning all medics must alert local health authorities to suspected cases.

Laboratories must also inform UKHSA if the virus is identified in a sample.

Dr Meera Chand, director of clinical and emerging infections, UKHSA said on Monday: "We are working, both in the UK and together with global partners, to progress the investigations that we need to help us better understand the virus, its transmission and the best use of mitigations such as vaccines and treatments. 

"We use the new data rapidly to inform the public health response and we continue to work to reduce transmission. 

"We are grateful to all those who have come forward for testing and the patients who continue to help us understand the outbreak through participating in studies and investigations."