The MPOX vaccination Programme has now ended locally and is now only available in London clinics.
MPOX (MONKEYPOX) was declared a global emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2022 after cases spread to more than 70 countries. There have been a number of confirmed cases of MPOX in the UK. Most of these cases are in England particularly London and the South East, we have however seen cases in the North West and in Liverpool & Cheshire.
MPOX is usually a mild self-limiting illness, spread by very close contact with someone with MPOX. Most people recover within a few weeks.
Although MPOX can affect anyone, the majority of those cases are currently among gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men. Monkeypox is transmitted through close contact, so is likely being passed on during sex rather than sexual transmission.
Everyone is being asked to be aware of the MPOX symptoms, but it’s important gay and bisexual men are alert as currently this is the group most affected.
Initial symptoms of MPOX include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen glands, chills and exhaustion. New unexpected or unusual spots, ulcers and blisters can develop anywhere on the body, including the face and other parts of the body including the hands, abdomen and genitals.
The spots can change and goes through different stages. They can look like chickenpox, anogenital herpes or syphilis, before finally forming a scab, which later falls off. Some people have only had one or a few spots.
If you have new unexpected or unexplained spots, ulcers or blisters anywhere on your body (including the face and/or genitals) or any of the other symptoms outlined below, then contact the axess sexual health service by phone (0300 323 1300) or call 111 or your GP for advice.