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  • OPENING TIMES: MON 8AM–7PM • TUE 8AM–7PM • WED 12PM–7PM • THUR 8AM–7PM • FRI 9AM–4PM • SAT 11AM–4PM • SUN CLOSED
  • PLEASE WEAR A MASK
  • CHRISTMAS OPENING TIMES: CLOSED 24th,25th,26th,27th DEC - Open 9am-4pm on 28th, 29th & 30th DEC - CLOSED 31st DEC, 1st, 2nd JAN - OPEN as normal from 3rd Jan 2023
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MONKEYPOX ALERT

19.05.22 5 minute read

The UKHSA (UK Health Security Agency) has identified over 2000 confirmed cases of monkeypox in gay men. The outbreak is centred on London. It’s usually a mild illness that settles on its own, but it can sometimes become more serious. The UKHSA are contacting people who have been in contact with a known case.

MONKEYPOX VACCINE: UPDATED 04/10/22

Monkey pox vaccination clinics are running at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for eligible gay men to get their first dose. If you belong to one of the groups below use this link to book an appointment

Background:

The immunisation programme is currently focused on gay men who:

  • Have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection in the last year.
  • Regularly have sex with new partners.
  • Are current users of PrEP.

The following group should not have the vaccine:

  • Allergy to chicken protein (e.g. eggs)
  • Allergy to Gentamicin or Ciprofloxacin antibiotics
  • If you currently have a high fever or other symptom of monkey pox

Most people get no side effects. Some people have temporary mild flu like symptoms such as fever, aches and tiredness. Others may get itching or soreness at the injection site.

 

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

The symptoms of monkeypox begin 5-21 days (average 6-16 days) after being exposed to the virus. Usually the first signs are a high fever, muscle and joint aches, enlarged lymph glands and a severe headache. One to 5 days later a rash appears. In the current outbreak not everyone developed a fever. The rash often starts on the genitals or face before spreading to other parts of the body. Sometimes only the throat or rectum are affected. The rash changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab which later falls off leaving healthy skin underneath. Once the final scab has dropped off they are no longer infectious.

Monkeypox is usually mild and most people will recover within a few weeks without any treatment. Treatments such as ibuprofen and paracetamol can help with the fever and aches. Sometimes people become more unwell and need to be admitted to hospital. You should seek urgent medical advice if they develop any of these symptoms

  • Confusion
  • Severe pain (e.g If it prevents swallowing, urination or defaecation)
  • A worsening chest infection
  • The surface of the eye is affected
  • If there are over 100 lesions on the skin

The strain found in the UK is the ‘West African clade’. This usually causes a less severe illness and the risk of dying from an infection is around 1% (Rather than the 10% reported in the press).

How do you catch Monkeypox?

Monkeypox does not spread easily between people. Person-to-person spread may occur through:

  • Direct contact with the skin lesions or scabs.
  • Contact with clothing or linens (such as bedding or towels) that have been used by an infected person.
  • Breathing in droplets from the coughing or sneezing of someone who has a monkeypox rash

What do I do if I think I might have it?

Call us for advice if you become unwell with a fever and then develop a rash on your genitals a few days later. Please don’t walk into the clinic. Avoid skin to skin contact with others. Don’t share plates, cutlery, bedding, towels and other linen. Avoid sex until you’re given the all clear.

If you test positive, continue to isolate until the last scab comes off. If you have to travel (e.g. a hospital appointment), you should ideally walk, cycle or be driven in your own car. If you have no other choice, wear a mask and cover any lesions on public transport.

Some people are at increased risk of complications for monkeypox. So particularly avoid contact with these groups

  • Pregnant women
  • Children under 12
  • Immunosuppressed people (HIV positive people not on treatment or with a CD4 count under 200)

HELP & ADVICE