Monkeypox: what you need to know

Photo of monkey pox blister

Please keep yourself and others healthy this summer by being aware of the facts about Monkeypox and how it is spread.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection. Recently, there have been a number of cases in the UK, Europe and other parts of the world.

The infection can spread through close physical contact, like kissing, skin-to-skin, sex or sharing things like bedding and towels.

Monkeypox has not been described as a sexually transmitted infection, although it can be passed on by direct contact during sex. It is important to remind everyone to be alert to any unusual rashes or lesions on any part of their body, especially their genitalia.

Monkeypox cases in the UK are most prevalent in men at the present time. This means that men who have sex with men are at a greater risk of contracting it. Everyone is being asked to be aware of the monkeypox symptoms, but it’s important gay and bisexual men are especially alert as it’s believed to be spreading in sexual networks.

Monkeypox symptoms can be treated, it is usually mild and most people recover in two to four weeks.

The signs and symptoms are:

• Recent unexpected/unusual spots, ulcers or blisters anywhere on your body
• Fever
• Headaches
• Muscle aches
• Chills and exhaustion
• Swollen glands

You can help stop the spread of Monkeypox by:

• If you or any recent partners have developed unexpected or unusual spots, ulcers or blisters on any part of your body, including your face or genitals, call your GP or the sexual health (GUM) service, as soon as possible. You will be treated sensitively and confidentially.
• And additionally avoid close physical contact with others until you have had medical advice. This will minimise the chance of passing it on.

It is important that if you have any of these symptoms, you must not attend the sexual health clinic or GP before you have sought advice via telephone. Call the sexual health (GUM) clinic: 01534 442856 or email:

More information can be found here:

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