RACIST and homophobic reports around monkeypox have been condemned by the health secretary.

Humza Yousaf said the right advice had to be provided without stigmatising communities.

He was asked by Labour MSP Paul O’Kane about some media and online reports linking the outbreak to race and sexual orientation.

It comes after Scotland confirmed its first case on Monday, bringing the UK total to 71.

READ MORE: Plans in place' for Scotland fans to get home from Hampden, says transport minister

O’Kane said: “Monkeypox has previously been most common in Africa, and recent UK cases have been more common among people who identify as gay or bisexual, and among men who have sex with men.

“However, there is no link to race or sexual orientation. I am sure that, like me, the cabinet secretary has been appalled by racist and homophobic assertions in the press and online regarding the virus.”

Yousaf said: “I have been appalled by the disgusting and bigoted reporting on monkeypox that I have seen.

READ MORE: Gas and electric bills to rise even further in autumn energy regulator says

“It is important that we work hard to get the appropriate public health advice out to the communities that might be more affected by the current outbreak, but we must do that in a way that does not stigmatise those communities and does not allow the issue to be weaponised for other purposes.”

The health secretary said that  he is being briefed by officials and clinicians on the outbreak.

He added: “There are well-established and robust infection prevention and control procedures for dealing with such cases of infectious disease, and they will continue to be followed strictly. The Scottish Government continues to work closely with Public Health Scotland as we monitor the situation.

Yousaf said work is progressing to investigate the source of the infection.

He added: “Close contacts are being identified and provided with health information and advice. That may include the offer of vaccination."