Mpox (monkeypox) is a viral infection that causes a rash and other symptoms as listed below. Mpox is believed to be mainly spread by skin-to-skin contact with someone who has mpox. Most of the cases in Australia have occurred in gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men.
Symptoms usually begin 5-21 days after exposure and may include:
- rashes, pimple-like lesions or sores, particularly in areas that are hard to see such as the genitals, anus or buttocks, and on the face, arms and legs;
- ulcers, lesions or sores in the mouth;
- fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and/or exhaustion prior to the rash or lesions developing.
Most people recover within a few weeks.
Whilst people at risk can take steps to reduce their risk of exposure to mpox, vaccination is an effective means of preventing mpox infection. Two doses of the vaccine are required for maximum protection, given at least 28 days apart. The vaccine is most effective two weeks after the second dose and gives well above 80% protection against mpox. For people who may have been recently exposed to mpox, a vaccine dose within five days might prevent or at least markedly reduce the severity of any mpox infection that occurs.
Mpox vaccines are available from doctors at Turn The Corner. Patients – whether existing or new patients of the clinic – will need to discuss the mpox vaccine with a doctor first before it can be given by a nurse in a subsequent appointment. The vaccine itself is free but our normal fees will apply for the doctor’s or nurse’s time as appropriate.