Thomas Strong, who was diagnosed with monkeypox last month, has spoken about the pain of the virus and the fear of stigma.

He is one of more than 110 people in Ireland confirmed as having contracted the virus.

Globally, more than 35,000 cases have been reported since the start of the year.

The World Health Organization has designated the outbreak as a public health emergency.

Dr Strong, a lecturer of anthropology at NUI Maynooth, said he had to isolate for a month.

He said he noticed two "zit-like" spots under a bandage he was wearing on his hand because of a cut.

"I thought they were clogged pores or something caused by the bandage, so I didn't think all that much about them," he said.

Thomas Strong provided images of his monkeypox sores

"But then one appeared on my leg, and another on my arm, and I began to get worried."

Dr Strong said he does not know how he contracted the virus.

Concerned about the spots, he sent photos to his friend, who suggested it could be monkeypox.

"I had actually heard talk of it," he said. "But I hadn’t really focused on it. I immediately knew that was what it was."

Dr Strong said that despite being told it was a mild illness, it was accompanied by "a lot of pain".

"The actual lesions are extremely painful, they feel like something's busting out of your skin," he said.

"I’m paranoid about stigma in the community. Will people regard you as untouchable? People are innately afraid of contagion, it’s just sort of natural to be afraid of it, so it takes a lot to overcome that.

"When you have visual lesions and then scars from visual lesions, it’s something I’m concerned about."

The Health Service Executive said that it takes between five and 21 days for the first symptoms of monkeypox to appear.

The symptoms include an itchy rash, a high temperature, headaches, muscle aches, back ache, swollen glands, shivering (chills), exhaustion, a cough, and a runny nose.

Symptoms usually clear up in two to four weeks and people with monkeypox need to self-isolate until the rash is completely healed.

Dr Strong said the vaccine roll-out is "too late" and should have been done weeks ago.

He said he understands that health authorities want to target the most vulnerable first, but there is a larger question about why there are not enough vaccines.

He said that if the jab had been available to him prior to contracting monkeypox, he would have taken it.

"I would have qualified, I meet the criteria that they've announced," he said. "And I would have taken a vaccine."

Earlier, Interim Chief Medical Officer Professor Breda Smyth said she expects that Ireland will receive additional monkeypox vaccines by December.

Of the 113 cases of monkeypox in Ireland, just four people have been admitted to hospital with the virus.

The Health Service Executive said it expected the roll-out of the monkeypox vaccine to start within the next few weeks, but warned that supplies were limited.