Mpox information

There has been a sustained reduction in Mpox case numbers across England and the vaccination programme has been successful in helping to control the outbreak. The vaccination programme is still available in our sexual health clinics.

The UKHSA will continue to closely monitor case numbers and will retain the ability to stand up the vaccination programme if the risk of infection rises significantly.

Patient information

About Mpox

Mpox or MPV

The UKHSA (UK Health Security Agency, previously Public Health England) has identified multiple confirmed cases of Mpox Virus (MPV) in the UK, mostly affecting gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men (MSM). It is usually a mild illness which does not require treatment, but can sometimes become more serious. UKHSA are contacting people who have been in contact with a known case. 

Symptoms of MPV

Symptoms begin 5–21 days (average 6–16 days) after being exposed to the virus. The first signs are a high fever, muscle and joint aches, swollen lymph nodes and a severe headache but some people may not have these initial symptoms. Approximately 1–5 days later a rash appears. The rash often starts on the genitals or face before spreading to other parts of the body. The rash changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab. Someone with MPV is infectious until the last scab has fallen off. 

MPV is usually mild and most people will recover within a few weeks without any treatment. Reports state that the type of MPV in the UK currently is a different form of the virus, causing a less severe illness. Occasionally, people become more unwell and require hospital admission, so if you have been diagnosed with MPV, it is important to stay in touch with your healthcare provider and let them know if your symptoms worsen. 

How is Mpox acquired?

Mpox does not spread easily between people. Person-to-person spread may occur through:

  • Direct contact with skin lesions or scabs
  • Contact with clothing or linens (such as bedding or towels) that have been used by an infected person
  • Breathing in droplets from the coughing or sneezing of someone who has an Mpox rash

What to do if you think you might have it

Call us for advice on 020 3315 4040 (John Hunter Clinic), 020 3315 1010 (10 Hammersmith Broadway), or 02083215718 (Sexual Health Hounslow) if you think you have signs or symptoms of MPV. Please don’t walk into the clinic. We may refer you to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for specific tests. Don’t share bedding, towels and other linen. Please avoid any sexual contact until your symptoms have been reviewed.

The UKSHA will contact anyone who may have been exposed to MPV and provide further advice. People exposed to a known case should self-isolate at home for 21 days. Giving smallpox vaccine after exposure to a confirmed case reduces the chance of becoming unwell. 

ruby George Vasilopoulos Maya Sharda