Monkey Pox is a rare illness caused by the Monkey Pox virus and one of the symptoms is a rash that is sometimes confused with chickenpox. It is usually associated with travel to Central or West Africa but cases have been occurring in England with no travel links. That number is rising. It is usually a mild self-limiting illness, spread by very close contact with someone with Monkey Pox and most people recover within a few weeks and the risk to the UK population is low.
Anyone can catch and pass on Monkey Pox. However, recent cases have been detected in the gay and bisexual community. We advise these people in particular to be alert to any unusual rashes or lesions on any part of their body, especially their genitalia, and to contact a sexual health service if they have concerns.
- Unusual rashes or lesions on the body such as the face or genital area
- Muscle aches
- Chills and exhaustion
- Swollen lymph nodes
Call to action
If you think you have monkeypox symptoms – however mild:
- Contact NHS 111 or call a sexual health clinic immediately. Your call will be treated sensitively and confidentially.
- Avoid close personal or sexual contact with others until you have had a clinical assessment
Please contact clinics ahead of your visit and avoid close contact with others until you have been seen by a clinician. Your call or discussion will be treated sensitively and confidentially.