As cases rise, the UK’s public health agencies have published a consensus statement for healthcare professionals and the general public about preventing and treating monkeypox

Marina Demidiuk monkeypox money pox blisters rash

In light of the rising number of monkeypox cases in the UK, a consensus statement has been released by the UK’s four public health agencies. Agreed on by the UK Health Security Agency, Public Health Scotland, Public Health Wales, and Public Health Agency Northern Ireland, the statement includes recommendations and information on:

  • the rationale for changes to protocols
  • strategic aims
  • assumptions about transmission and biology
  • implications for risk assessment and infection control in community, ambulatory, inpatient, and other residential settings.

As of 2 June 2022, the total number of monkeypox cases confirmed in the UK is 302 and 780 cases have been confirmed in laboratories worldwide.

The statement stresses: ‘Anyone can get monkeypox, particularly if you have had close contact, including sexual contact, with an individual with symptoms.’

It adds: ‘Since 13 May 2022, cases of monkeypox have been reported in multiple countries that do not have endemic monkeypox virus in animal or human populations, including countries in Europe, North America and Australasia. Epidemiological investigations are ongoing; however reported cases thus far have no established travel links to an endemic area. This suggests significant community transmission in multiple non-endemic countries in recent weeks. In the UK, all reported cases have been identified as the West African clade through rapid molecular testing.’

People should contact a sexual health clinic if they have a rash with blisters and have been either:

  • in close contact, including sexual contact, with someone who has or might have monkeypox in the past 3 weeks
  • to West or Central Africa in the past 3 weeks.

Lead image: Marina Demidiuk/
Image 1: Marina Demidiuk/