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MONKEYPOX IN THE UK

25 MAY 2022


The latest information about monkeypox and answers to frequently asked questions, including guidance for people living with HIV.

 

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection mainly spread by wild animals. It is very rare in the UK. We're still learning about this infection and we'll be updating this page as the story develops.

latest monkeypox information

  • The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has confirmed that the vaccine supply for the targeted monkeypox vaccination programme for gay and bisexual men is to run out for a number of weeks. Click here for advice on what to do ahead of more vaccine doses arriving in the UK from late September

  • There have been a number of confirmed cases of monkeypox in the UK. Although monkeypox can affect anyone, the majority of those cases are among gay and bisexual men.

  • Monkeypox is transmitted through close contact, so is likely being passed on during sex rather than sexual transmission.

  • Everyone is being asked to be aware of the monkeypox symptoms, but it’s important gay and bisexual men are alert as it's believed to be transmitting through sexual networks.

  • If you have new unexpected or unexplained spots, ulcers or blisters anywhere on your body (including the face and/or genitals) or any of the other symptoms outlined below, then contact your local sexual health service by phone – not in person – or call 111 for advice.

  • Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen glands, chills and exhaustion.

  • All calls to your GP, a clinic, 111 or our helpline will be treated sensitively and confidentially, but it is important you are tested for monkeypox and cases are found.

  • Close contacts who have symptoms will be advised to isolate for 21 days.

  • Health protection teams are getting in touch with close contacts of anyone diagnosed with monkeypox. They will advise you what to do if you do not have symptoms.

The Government website has the latest information on monkeypox cases in the UK.

monkeypox symptoms

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection mainly spread by wild animals. It is very rare in the UK.

Initial symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen glands, chills and exhaustion. New unexpected or unusual spots, ulcers and blisters can develop anywhere on the body, including the face, and other parts of the body including the hands, pubis and genitals (penis, testicles, vulva, front hole and anus). In many cases only one or a few spots or ulcers are being found.

background on uk cases of monkeypox

On 18 July 2022 the total number of monkeypox cases confirmed in the UK was 2,137. Most of these were diagnosed in England (2,050) and the majority of cases were in gay and bisexual men.

Monkeypox is usually a mild self-limiting illness, spread by very close contact with someone with monkeypox. Most people recover within a few weeks. Some people can become unwell and require hospital admission but most people are well enough to stay at home if they are able to self-isolate safely

Here are some more sources of information:

Information reproduced from the Terence Higgins Trust website: www.tht.org.uk

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