We wanted to update you about Monkeypox vaccination and isolation in the local and national media
Here are the key messages:
- Monkeypox continues to be a rare infectious disease, but there are a number of cases in the UK, which are rising mainly in the London area and some cities across the UK.
- Monkeypox is a viral infection usually associated with travel to West Africa. It is usually a condition that resolves on its own, spread by very close contact with someone with monkeypox and most people recover within a few weeks.
- The virus can spread if there is close contact between people and the risk to the UK population is low. Anyone can catch and pass on monkeypox.
- All updates and public health advice from the UK Health Security Agency are in the public domain here: Monkeypox cases confirmed in England – latest updates - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Unusual rashes or lesions on the body such as the face or genital area
- Muscle aches
- Chills and exhaustion
- Swollen lymph node
- If you think you have monkeypox symptoms, however mild:
- Contact NHS 111 or call a sexual health clinic immediately. Your call will be treated sensitively and confidentially.
- A non-clinical call line for contacts, cases and the general public is available Monday - Friday, 8am - 6pm & Saturday - Sunday, 9am - 1pm: 0333 242 3672
- Avoid personal or sexual contact with others until you have had a clinical assessment.
- Please contact clinics ahead of your visit and avoid close contact with others until you have been seen by a clinician. Your call or discussion will be treated sensitively and confidentially.
- Vaccination programme:
- Monkeypox is caused by a similar virus to smallpox, so the smallpox vaccine is considered to give a good level of protection against monkeypox.
- The NHS is offering vaccination to a targeted group of people who are most likely to be exposed to monkeypox which includes some healthcare workers, and some patients assessed by specialist NHS services as high risk.
- If a patient is considered at risk of exposure they will be contacted by their local NHS services and offered the vaccine.
- Protecting you from monkeypox: information about the smallpox vaccine: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/monkeypox-vaccination-resources
- Monkeypox: waiting for your vaccination: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/monkeypox-vaccination-resources
- Isolation and contact tracing:
- Patients who have been exposed to confirmed cases are provided advice on steps to take within a 21-day period from contact with confirmed cases. There are different levels of exposure which means that the advice can be different according to the nature of the close contact. Further advice is available on the dedicated website, which also includes guidance on travel advice for these patients: Monkeypox: contact tracing - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Further information for the public can be found here:
- Latest updates from UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA): https://www.gov.uk/government/news/monkeypox-cases-confirmed-in-england-latest-updates
- Information for the public on NHS.UK: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/monkeypox/
- Information for the public from Terence Higgins Trust (THT): https://www.tht.org.uk/news/monkeypox-uk