Photo credit: World Health Organisation
As at September 2022
Monkeypox is a viral infection usually associated with travel to West Africa, spread by very close contact with someone with monkeypox. It is usually a mild ‘self-limiting’ illness – meaning it most cases it resolves itself without treatment, with most people recovering within a few weeks. The main symptoms are:
- Unusual rashes or lesions on the body such as the face or genital area
- Muscle aches
- Chills and exhaustion
- Swollen lymph nodes
The current situation
A rising number of monkeypox cases in the UK is prompting a warning to people in the Isle of Man.
While no cases have been reported on the Island, and the risk remains low to the general public, people are being asked to be aware of the symptoms.
Be alert to any unusual rashes or lesions on any part of your body, especially genitalia.
Those who may be at higher risk include anyone who changes sexual partners regularly, or has close contact with individuals that they don't know. It’s important to stress that this is not an illness that affects one community more than any other and it’s not a sexually transmitted disease. It is spread by close contact with an infected person or through touching clothing, bedding or towels used by someone with the monkeypox rash.
What to do
If you think you have monkeypox symptoms – however mild:
- Call the GUM sexual health clinic - your call will be treated sensitively and confidentially. The clinic is open between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. Outside of these hours, you can leave a message and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. You can contact the sexual health clinic by calling +44 1624 650710
- For emergencies that cannot wait until the next working day, call MEDS out-of-hours service on +44 1624 650355. DO NOT attend the Emergency Department
- Stay at home and avoid close personal or sexual contact with others until you know that this is not monkeypox
If you are travelling off Island, visit the Travel Health Pro website for information and advice.
The GUM sexual health clinic has started to offer Monkeypox vaccine (Imvanex) to those who may be at high risk of exposure to the Monkeypox virus. The GUM team is currently contacting those who are at highest risk to invite them to receive the vaccination should they want it. The GUM team is currently not asking people to contact the service to arrange a vaccine, however this may become available shortly.
If you are invited for a vaccine, please see below links to useful resources on the vaccine, including details on the vaccination method. If you are invited, please print off and complete a consent form and bring it with you to your appointment.
If you are unable to access the below leaflets please call the GUM team on +44 1624 650710.
Smallpox (MVA) consent form
A guide to the vaccination
Protecting you from monkeypox
What you need to know: Intradermal monkeypox vaccination
For those people who have not yet been contacted by the GUM team, please see below leaflet on our Monkeypox Vaccine supply and why you may need to wait for your vaccine.
Public Health Isle of Man has adapted the information supplied by the UK Health Security Agency for the delivery of the Monkeypox Vaccination programme and this has been sourced from Monkeypox vaccination resources (gov.uk).
Visit our Monkeypox FAQs page for more information.