Two cases of Monkeypox infection were detected in the West of Ireland last year.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) has confirmed that 225 cases of Monkeypox were notified in Ireland last year.
Just two of them were in the three counties of Galway, Mayo and Roscommon which make up the HSE West CHO 2 (Community Health Organisation).
Monkeypox was made a notifiable infection on May 27 last year.
The West was the only area in the country initially where no notifications were made, as the infection was largely confined to Dublin.
But the latest data from the HSPC confirmed two cases of the infection in the West. One was recorded in November and the second case was notified in December.
According to HSPC, in recent weeks, “there has been a decreasing trend in notifications in Ireland, similar to that seen elsewhere”.
All bar two of the 225 cases notified in Ireland were men with a median age of 35.
A total of 19 cases have been hospitalised; 14 cases were admitted for clinical care related to Monkeypox infection; and three were admitted for isolation purposes only.
The epidemiological picture to date in Ireland is similar to that seen in other countries where cases are primarily among gay and bi-sexual men or men who have sex with men.
The HSE said Monkeypox is a very uncommon infection that produces a spotty, itchy and sore rash, and sometimes a fever.
It is caused by a Monkeypox virus which is naturally found in some animals in Africa. There have been several thousand cases of Monkeypox in countries where the virus is not found naturally, including Ireland.
In July, the World Health Organisation declared the multi-country outbreak, a public health emergency of international concern.
Ireland made it a notifiable infection to enable monitoring of cases.
It is spread through close contact, including sexual contact, but it can be picked up through contact with objects touched by an infected person.
Monkeypox symptoms can appear in two stages. The first stage usually begins with a sudden onset of fever and chills, followed by a bad headache, swollen glands and exhaustion.
There may also be muscle ache, backache, cough and runny nose, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea. Not everyone with monkeypox has these initial symptoms.
One to three days after the fever starts, an itchy rash appears. It may first appear on the face and spread to other parts of the body. Some people may only have a rash and not initial symptoms.
Anyone with symptoms is asked to contact their GP. More information is available by going to HSE.ie.