What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a viral infection. There have been a number of confirmed cases of monkeypox in Yorkshire. The majority of cases have been among gay and bisexual men. For the most recent published data in your region visit gov.uk.
How is it transmitted?
Monkeypox spreads through direct contact with body fluids or sores on the body of someone who has monkeypox. It can be spread during sex including kissing. Direct contact with unwashed materials that have touched body fluids or sores, such as clothing or bedding, is also a route of transmission. The more men you have sex with the more likely you will come into contact with Monkeypox.
What are the symptoms?
- Muscle aches
- Rectal pain and discharge
- Swollen glands
- New or unusual spots, ulcers and blisters can develop anywhere on the body.
What should I do?
If you think you may have symptoms, or have come into close contact with someone who has monkeypox call a sexual health clinic, who can offer advice and a test if you need one, or contact NHS 111.
If you show symptoms, you should isolate and not have close physical contact with anyone. You should not share towels, clothes or bedding.
The good news is that there is a vaccine that can help prevent the transmission of Monkeypox. The bad news is there is not enough to go round just yet, so the NHS will be offering a free vaccine to gay and bisexual men who are most likely to be exposed to monkeypox. You should wait to be contacted. If you are eligible, your local sexual health clinic will let you know.
If you are a gay, bisexual or other man who has sex with men, not known to your local clinic and you think you are at high risk of coming into contact with Monkeypox - for example if you have had more than 10 male sexual partners in the past 3 months - call your local Yorkshire MESMAC office: we’ll ask you some questions, take your details and let you know when the vaccine is available.