Below are some common questions about Mpox.
This page includes guidance on mpox symptoms, pathways for testing, support, vaccination, and prevention tips.
The virus can spread if there is close contact between people through:
We have learnt from the current outbreak that whilst mpox is not thought to be sexually transmitted, close contact during sexual activity can lead to transmission.
If you think you have mpox symptoms – however mild:
Treatment for mpox is mainly supportive. The illness is usually mild and most of those infected will recover within a few weeks without treatment.
The most effective way to protect yourself from mpox is to get vaccinated.
A smallpox (Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA)) vaccination is being offered to people who are most at risk. To offer as wide-scale community protection as possible only one dose of the vaccine is currently being offered to those eligible. A second dose is only being offered to those most at risk.
The vaccination does not guarantee protection against mpox, but it is effective at reducing the likelihood of symptomatic infection and severe illness.
It is important to remain vigilant to mpox symptoms even when vaccinated.
More information on the vaccine can be found in the UK Health Security Agency’s (UKHSA) Mpox Vaccination Strategy: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/monkeypox-outbreak-vaccination-strategy
The MVA vaccine has primarily been either a subcutaneous or intramuscular injection – this means under the skin or into the muscle. However, On 22 August 2022, UKHSA announced a pilot scheme offering intradermal administration of the vaccine.
Intradermal injection is a safe and clinical approach and is sometimes known as ‘fractional dosing’. It involves injecting a lower dose of the vaccine at different angle in the skin which offers the same level of protect and stretches supply further.
The current process distributes vaccine to those most at risk of transmitting mpox. NHS England have identified those who meet this criterion. Your local NHS Trust (hospital) will contact you by text and/or telephone to schedule a vaccination appointment with you.
You should wait to be contacted by your local NHS Trust.
The UKHSA currently recommends the vaccine is offered to these groups first:
Only one dose of the vaccine is being offered to those people eligible for vaccination. UKHSA have stated a second dose may be offered if the outbreak continues and supply increases.
Once more vaccine supply become available, people outside of these initial groups will be considered for their vaccination.
More information on the vaccination priority groups and roll out can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/monkeypox-vaccination-resources/monkeypox-waiting-for-your-vaccination
Whilst the best protection is getting vaccinated, there are risk reduction behaviours which can be adopted. By adopting the suggestions below, on their own or in combination (recommended), you will reduce the likelihood of getting mpox. The suggestions should be considered based on which best suit your lifestyle and need.