Monkeypox cases in Scotland have risen by two in the latest report from Public Health Scotland (PHS). There have now been 46 laboratory-confirmed cases of the virus in Scotland since 23 May 2022.
According to PHS, the cases in Scotland are mostly in men who are gay, bisexual or have sex with men. A link has also be found in those who have recently travelled to London or Europe.
This comes as a pre-exposure programme sets off with some high-risk groups being offered a vaccine for the condition. A small number of healthcare workers who work in high-risk settings will also be offered the Imvanex vaccine.
Symptoms of the condition, according to Scotland's NHS Inform, include:
- high temperature (fever)
- flu-like symptoms, including muscle and back aches, shivering and tiredness
- swollen glands that feel like new lumps (in the neck, armpits or groin)
- a blistering rash that usually starts 1 to 5 days after other symptoms – the rash may start on the face or in the genital area and may spread to other parts of the body
The condition is spread through touch, and according to NHS Inform, does not spread very easily between people. While it is not a sexually transmitted virus, it can be spread through sexual contact.
Dr Nick Phin, Director of Public Health Science and Medical Director at Public Health Scotland, said: “We continue to ask the public to be aware of the signs and symptoms of monkeypox, particularly as there are currently a number of large social events happening across the country.
“Anyone can get monkeypox and it is passed by close skin-to skin contact with someone who has the infection. Simple measures like checking for unusual blister-like rashes or blister-like sores on any part of the body before attending an event or party can make a real difference.
“By noticing a possible infection early and seeking medical advice, we can prevent onward spread within our communities.”
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