Monkeypox – the facts and what to do.

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox (MPV) 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.

Am I at risk?

The virus does not spread easily between people and the risk to the UK population is low.

However, the most recent cases are in gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men communities, 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 by phone in the first instance if they have concerns.

What are the symptoms of Monkeypox?

Initial symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, and then spreading to other parts of the body including the genitals.

The rash changes and goes through different stages and can look like chickenpox or syphilis, before finally forming a scab, which later falls off.

Photos of what the rash/spots may look like:

Photos of what the Monkeypox (MPV) rash/spots may look like.

I’m worried as I might have these symptoms – what do I do next?

We may need to see you to determine if you have this infection.

Anyone with concerns that they could be infected with monkeypox is advised to make contact with a sexual health clinic ahead of their visit by phone – please don’t attend the clinic unless you have been asked to do so after speaking to a clinician.

We assure you that anything discussed, as with all of our consultations in sexual health, will be treated sensitively and confidentially.

Call us at Over The Rainbow

For more information or support call 0300 303 1948 first to speak to a sexual health adviser.

Further information

BASHH – British Association for Sexual Health and HIV – view website.

Monkeypox cases confirmed 18 May 2022

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