The UKHSA, the organisation in England responsible for public health and infectious diseases, has been monitoring the number of cases and the spread of Mpox since it was first detected in the UK. Anyone can get Mpox and although a increasing number of people have been diagnosed with it recently, the risk remains low.
In England, most cases have been seen in gay and bisexual men who have sex with men (MSM). While Mpox is not restricted to this group, it is more common, so it’s particularly important to be aware of symptoms and risks if you are a man who has sex with other men.
Though not an STI, Mpox can spread from person to person through touching clothing, bedding or towels used by someone with the monkeypox rash, touching Mpox skin blisters or scabs, or through the coughs or sneezes of a person with the Mpox rash, including during sex.
Common signs of Mpox infection include fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, swollen lymph nodes, and development of a new rash, isolated spots, ulcers or blisters on the skin.
You’re extremely unlikely to have Mpox if you have not been in close contact with someone who has Mpox or has Mpox symptoms and if you have not recently travelled to west or central Africa.
Transmission rates have stabilised but UKHSA continue to encourage eligible people to attend for vaccination to help ensure transmission rates continue to fall. UKHSA have advised that the pre-exposure vaccination programme is the best way to prevent rates increasing again.
We continue to contact people who are a priority for vaccination and continue to work with other services to make sure those who may be eligible know how to get one. However, you do not need to wait to be contacted to access the vaccine, please call to book an appointment if you are eligible.
If you have any genital symptoms of Mpox or have come into close sexual contact with someone who has Mpox you should limit contact with others and contact your local sexual health clinic for advice and to arrange testing.
If you have non genital symptoms, you should contact your GP or NHS111 for advice