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Monkey Pox

As you may well have heard in the news recently, there have been a number of cases of monkeypox in England. Recent cases have been predominantly in gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men although as with any virus, this could possibly change.

The source of these infections is currently being investigated because the evidence suggests that there may be the transmission of the monkeypox virus in the community, spread by close contact.

Investigations are underway to establish links between cases. Those patients needing medical care are all in specialist infectious disease units.

Monkeypox is a rare infectious disease, but there are a number of cases in the UK and that number is rising.

Monkeypox is a viral infection usually associated with travel to West Africa. It is usually a mild self-limiting illness, 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. However, recent cases are predominantly in gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men and as the virus spreads through close contact, we are advising these groups to be alert to any unusual rashes or lesions on any part of their body, especially their genitalia, and to contact a sexual health service if they have concerns.


  • Unusual rashes or lesions on the body such as the face or genital area

  • Fever

  • Muscle aches

  • Chills and exhaustion

  • Headaches

  • Swollen lymph nodes

Current national situation

It’s important to stress that numbers are incredibly low however all updates will be published via a rolling news story, where you’ll also find the latest case numbers-

Call to action

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.

  • Avoid close personal or sexual contact with others until you know that this is not monkeypox.

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.

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