As we are sure many of you are aware, there is widespread news coverage regarding Monkey Pox, with the UK Health Security Agency (UKSA) today reporting a further eleven cases.
We understand this may cause concern amongst many of you, particularly as this is happening in the wake of Covid-19. However, we would like to highlight that current UKHSA guidance is that the virus does not usually spread easily, and the risk to people is low. Investigations are ongoing, and contact tracing is underway to look at possible modes of transmission and prevent further spread.
What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a zoonotic (can be spread from animals to humans) viral infection that is endemic in parts of the west and central Africa.
How is monkeypox spread?
The virus is spread through close physical contact with an infected individual or through contact with blood, bodily fluids, or cutaneous or mucosal lesions of infected individuals or animals. It can also be spread through contact with clothing or linens used by an infected person.
It is worth noting that monkeypox is NOT predominantly a respiratory virus so will not spread in the same way as COVID-19 and is unlikely to affect people with pre-existing respiratory disease in the same way.
Initial symptoms of monkeypox include:
- muscle aches
- swollen lymph nodes
A rash usually appears 1 – 5 days after the first symptoms, often beginning on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body, particularly the hands and feet.
The rash (which can look like chickenpox) starts as raised spots, which turn into small blisters filled with fluid. These blisters eventually form scabs which later fall off. Symptoms are usually mild and self-limiting and typically clear up in 2 to 4 weeks.
Anyone with concerns that they could be infected with monkeypox is advised to contact NHS 111 or a sexual health clinic.
More information can be found via the link below.