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Monkeypox virus (MPOX)

The NHS MPOX outbreak vaccination programme ended on 31 July 2023, but vaccination is still available for people who:

  • live in London
  • regularly travel to London to have sex
  • regularly travel to other countries to have sex

MENRUS.CO.UK delivered an MPOX vaccination campaign over the summer, but we are continuing this work (2023-24).

Mpox: The basics

  • Transmission
    Close personal contact, including skin-to-skin contact, kissing and via respiratory (breathing) droplets (in the air) at close range. It can also spread via clothes, bed linens and surfaces that have been in contact with fluid from sores.
  • Not a sexually transmitted infection (STI)
    Monkeypox is not defined as an STI. Even though the virus has been found in sexual fluids, infection is more likely to be through close physical contact. However, research is ongoing.
  • Incubation
    Up to 3 weeks before symptoms.
  • Symptoms
    Include a high temperature, a headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen glands, shivering (chills) and extreme tiredness. A rash usually appears 1 to 5 days after the first symptoms. The rash often begins on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body. This can include the cock and balls (genitals). The rash is sometimes confused with chickenpox. It starts as raised spots, which turn into small blisters filled with fluid. These blisters eventually form scabs which later fall off. Symptoms usually clear up in a few weeks.
  • Illness
    Usually 2-4 weeks (considered infectious until the sores heal completely and scabs fall off).
  • Vaccination
    The vaccine is manufactured in Europe by Bavarian Nordic. The vaccine you are being given is called Imvanex in the UK and Europe, Jynneos in the US and Imvamune in Canada. These all contain the same MVA vaccine and are made by the same company.


Monkeypox |
Monkeypox | i-base
Monkeypox | NHS
Monkeypox | GOV.UK
Monkeypox | Wikipedia
Monkeypox virus | Wikipedia

NHS helpline and listings for sexual health services (Greater London)

Sexual health services for Greater listed by London borough | MEN R US
Sexual health services for United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland | MEN R US

More about MPOX

Resources and updates

Responding to Mpox: Communities, Communication, and Infrastructures | IPPO | 28 Mar 2023
Report, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), sets out key findings about the successes and challenges in the response to Mpox in the UK and internationally and makes research-based policy recommendations for future similar contexts.

 Monkeypox outbreak: epidemiological overview | 6 Dec 2022 | UK HSA
This epidemiological overview and the accompanying spreadsheet of counts of monkeypox by region and upper tier local authority will be published for the last time on 20 December 2022, due to low case numbers and availability of alternative reports.

The media and monkeypox

While monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted infection, the overwhelming majority of cases are gay men and other men who have sex with men. Consequently, some media portrayals of cases among LGBT+ and African people have been negative and discriminatory, with the United Nations warning that racist and homophobic rhetoric risks stigmatising the disease and undermining the response. This sort of sensational and accusatory media reporting is nothing new though health agencies worldwide continue to work hard to counter these narratives.


  • UK Numbers (6 May - 5 Sept 2022)
    Total: 3,484 | Confirmed: 3,345 | Highly probable: 139 | UK HSA
  • World Numbers
    Monkeypox | Our World in Data
    Global Map | CDC
  • Name change
    There has been widespread criticism that the name is discriminatory and stigmatising, and it's inaccurate to name versions of the virus after parts of Africa.In November 2022, the World Health Orgnisation said it "will begin using a new preferred term “mpox” as a synonym for monkeypox. Both names will be used simultaneously for one year while “monkeypox” is phased out."
    WHO recommends new name for monkeypox disease | WHO | 28 Nov 2022
    Why doesn’t monkeypox have a new name yet? | The Conversation | 11 Aug 2022

News and updates

WHO urges gay men to get mpox vaccine as European cases rise | Openly | 27 Jun 2023
Mpox vaccines extended after spike in cases in London | BBC News | 16 Jun 2023
Mpox vaccinations extended in London after spike in cases | The Guardian | 16 Jun 2023
Mpox vaccine programme extended in London after small rise in cases | Pink News | 16 Jun 2023
Latest mpox cases a reminder that the infection has not gone away | UKHSA 25 May 2023
Monkeypox: London sees rise in cases in last month | BBC News | 25 May
Monkeypox: WHO declares global emergency over | BBC | 12 May 2023
UK monkeypox vaccine rollout to wind down | BBC 23 Mar 2023
The UK has quietly done an incredible job of fighting mpox – but it’s no thanks to ministers | The Guardian | 2 Mar 2023

November 2022

Monkeypox given new name by World Health Organisation - disease will now be called 'mpox' | Sky News | 28 Nov 2022

October 2022

Monkeypox: A dangerous variant circulating in the DRC could go global | New Scientist | 10 Oct 2022

September 2022

Monkeypox vaccine second doses available for most at risk, says UKHSA | The Guardian | 23 Sep 2022
Investigation into monkeypox outbreak in England: technical briefing 8 | UK HSA | 23 Sep 2022
Monkeypox: NHS offers tecovirimat for severe or complicated cases | BMJ | 20 Sep 2022
Chinese official warns against touching foreigners after monkeypox case | BBC | 19 Sep 2022
Second monkeypox strain found in the UK | The Guardian | 2 Sep 2022
UK monkeypox case numbers continue to decline | GOV.UK | 2 Sep 2022

August 2022

 New workplace guidance on monkeypox | Unison | 31 Aug 2022
UK to offer mini dose of monkeypox jab amid low stocks | BBC News | 22 Aug 2022
UK trials smaller doses of monkeypox vaccine as supplies run low | The Guardian | 22 Aug 2022
Monkeypox: UK to run out of vaccine doses by next week | BMJ | 18 Aug 2022
Let’s Speak Clearly: Monkeypox Is Mostly Being Transmitted Via Sex | BuzzFeed | 16 Aug 2022
UK monkeypox case numbers show overall decline | UK HSA | 15 Aug 2022
 Monkeypox: Lack of vaccines sparks pause in UK rollout | BBC News | 15 Aug 2022
Campaigners call on Monkeypox vaccine company to share recipe and scale up production | 15 Aug 2022
Why it’s important to tell people that monkeypox is predominately affecting gay and bisexual men | 14 Aug 2022
Monkeypox: Lack of vaccines pauses rollout in Brighton | BBC News | 12 Aug 2022
Monkeypox: experts give virus variants new names | WHO | 12 Aug 2022
Why doesn’t monkeypox have a new name yet? | The Conversation | 11 Aug 2022
Monkeypox: New research finds lesions on genitals and around anus among most common symptoms | Pink News | 10 Aug 2022
‘Like winning the lottery’: Americans struggle to get monkeypox vaccines | The Guardian | 7 Aug 2022
Monkeypox: Can we still stop the outbreak? | BBC News | 6 Aug 2022
 LGBT groups demand more action on monkeypox | BBC News | 5 August 2022
As Experts Discuss Monkeypox Response, Advocates Demand More Action | POZ | 3 Aug 2022
The Monkeypox Vaccine Rollout Is Unfair. But Not for the Reasons You Think | Novara Media | 2 Aug 2022
Gay, bi and queer people share their experiences with the monkeypox vaccine | Pink News | 1 Aug 2022

July 2022

Monkeypox: First deaths outside Africa in Brazil and Spain | BBC News | 31 Jul 2022
Monkeypox linked to penis swelling and rectal pain in ongoing outbreak | NewScientist | 28 Jul 2022
Saying monkeypox is tearing through communities of queer men isn’t stigmatising – being afraid to say it is | The Guardian | 26 Jul 2022
Monkeypox case definition updated to include new symptoms | 25 Jul | GOV.UK
Monkeypox: WHO declares highest alert over outbreak | BBC | 24 Jul 2022
Study shows the spectrum of monkeypox symptoms | nam aidsmap | 22 Jul 2022
Monkeypox cases top 14,000 as World Health Organization reconsiders ‘global emergency’ status | Pink News | 21 Jul 2022
UK orders more doses of monkeypox vaccine as cases pass 2,000 | The Guardian | 19 Jul 2022
Monkeypox: New guidance recommends condoms for 12 weeks after infection | 16 Jul 2022
Sadiq Khan demands government take urgent action on monkeypox as London cases soar | Pink News | 15 Jul 2022
Frequent detection of monkeypox virus DNA in saliva, semen, and other clinical samples from 12 patients, Barcelona, Spain, May to June 2022 | Eurosurveillance | 14 Jul 2022
Consensus statement on response to the monkeypox outbreak | BHIVA and Others | 12 Jul 2022
Efforts to curb UK monkeypox outbreak inadequate, warn experts | The Guardian | 11 Jul 2022
Update on High Consequence Infectious Disease (HCID) Status of the UK monkeypox outbreak | NHS England | 6 Jul 2022
Monkeypox may be infectious when asymptomatic, Belgian study finds | nam aidsmap | 6 Jul 2022
Monkeypox: waiting for your vaccination | UKHSA | 1 Jul 2022

June 2022

Pride: Stay at home if you have monkeypox symptoms | BBC News | 30 June 2022
CDC activates emergency operations unit for monkeypox | The Guardian | 29 Jun 2022
Monkeypox vaccines rolled out more widely in UK as cases near 800 | The Guardian | 21 Jun 2022
Monkeypox jab to be offered to at-risk gay and bisexual men | BBC News | 21 Jun 2022
Investigation into monkeypox outbreak in England: technical briefing 1 | UKSA | 24 Jun 2022
Monkeypox Outbreak Linked to Gay Sauna and Festival | 23 Jun 2022
‘It’s taken so long’: Monkeypox patients raise concerns over UK tracing delays | The Guardian | 19 Jun 2022
Monkeypox to get a new name, says WHO | BBC News | 14 Jun 2022
Urgent need for a non-discriminatory and non-stigmatizing nomenclature for monkeypox virus | | 10 Jun 2022
Majority of UK’s 366 monkeypox cases are in London, says health agency | The Guardian | 10 Jun 2022
Law makes monkeypox a notifiable disease in England | BBC News | 8 Jun 2022
 The Guardian view on monkeypox: communication is crucial | The Guardian | 5 Jun 2022
 Fifth case of monkeypox discovered in New York City | The Guardian | 3 Jun 2022
 Monkeypox: here's what you need to know | London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine | 22 Jun 2022 | 1m 47s

May 2022

 Monkeypox infections rise as guidance advises cases to abstain from sex | BBC | 30 May 2022
 Monkeypox: what is it and how worried should we be? – video explainer | The Guardian | 27 May 2022
 Monkeypox: UK cases rise to 71, with vaccines for high-risk contacts | BBC News | 25 May 2022
 Monkeypox is spreading among gay men worldwide | nam aidsmap | 25 May 2022
 UN denounces ‘homophobic and racist’ reporting on monkeypox spread | The Guardian | 23 May 2022
 Monkeypox outbreak is primarily spreading through sex, WHO officials say | CNBC | 23 May 2022
 Monkeypox Q&A: how do you catch it and what are the risks? An expert explains | The Conversation | 23 May 2022
 UNAIDS warns that stigmatizing language on Monkeypox jeopardises public health | UNAIDS | 22 May 2022
 Monkeypox: Doctors concerned over impact on sexual health | BBC News | 21 May 2022
 Monkeypox could significantly disrupt UK sexual health services, expert says | BBC News | 21 May 2021
 Monkeypox: Time to worry or one to ignore? | BBC News | 21 May 2022
‘Now we have to deal with it’: what’s going on in the UK with monkeypox? | The Guardian | 20 May 2022
 US reports rare case of monkeypox amid small outbreaks in Europe | The Guardian | 19 May 2022
Even more monkeypox cases identified as queer men urged to watch out for rashes and lesions | Pink News | 19 May 2022
Monkeypox alert in Spain after 23 people show symptoms | The Guardian | 18 May 2022
European outbreak of monkeypox: what you need to know | The Conversation | 18 May 2022
What is monkeypox and should UK residents be worried? | The Guardian | 17 May 2022
Monkeypox: Four more cases detected in England | BBC News | 17 May 2022
Four queer men diagnosed with monkeypox in ‘rare and unusual’ UK outbreak | Pink News | 17 May 2022


US monitoring over 200 people for potential monkeypox exposure | The Guardian | 26 Jul 2021
US reports rare case of monkeypox amid small outbreaks in Europe | The Guardian | 19 May 2019
Monkeypox case in England | 8 Sep 2018 | GOV.UK

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