Monkeypox and Vaccination Update 


Monkeypox is a rare infection. Although more people have been diagnosed with it recently, only a small number of people in the UK have had monkeypox and the risk remains low.

Anyone can get monkeypox. Currently most cases have been in men who are gay, bisexual or have sex with other men.

How is it spread

Monkeypox is passed on from person to person through any close physical contact with monkeypox blisters or scabs. This includes holding hands, kissing and during sexual contact.

It can also be passed on by touching clothing, bedding or towels used by someone with monkeypox, or when a person with monkeypox coughs or sneezes close to you.


The first symptoms of monkeypox include:

  • a high temperature
  • a headache
  • muscle aches
  • backache
  • swollen glands
  • shivering (chills)
  • exhaustion

A rash usually appears 1 to 5 days after the first symptoms. The rash often begins on the face, then spreads to other parts of the body. This can include the genitals and anus. Unless you have been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox or has monkeypox symptoms, or have recently travelled to west or central Africa, you’re extremely unlikely to have monkeypox.  If you feel unwell or have any concerns, call our central booking line on 01903 285199


To obtain information regarding vaccine availability, kindly consult with a clinician during any routine appointment. It is important to note that it takes a few weeks to develop some protection from monkeypox following a vaccine, so minimising your risk in the short term is the priority. We have provided more information about reducing risk below.  

leaflet prior to attendance.

UKHSA-12370-monkeypox-vaccination-leaflet (1)

This is a changing situation and we will be updating information on a regular basis.

How can I lower my risk of catching monkeypox?

At events

Consider how much close, personal, skin-to-skin contact may happen at any event you plan to attend. If you feel sick or have any rashes or sores, do not attend any gathering. Speak to your GP or local sexual health clinic.

Festivals, events, and concerts where you’re fully clothed and unlikely to have skin-to-skin contact are safer. But be mindful of activities (like kissing) that might spread monkeypox.

A rave, party, or club where there’s less clothing and where there’s direct, personal, often skin-to-skin contact has some risk. Avoid any rashes or sores you see on others. Consider avoiding touching others where possible.

Enclosed spaces, such as back rooms, saunas, or sex clubs, where there is minimal or no clothing and where intimate sexual contact occurs, have a higher chance of spreading monkeypox.

Having sex

Talk to your partner about any recent illness. Be aware of new or unexplained sores or rashes on your body or your partner’s body, including the genitals and anus.

If you or your partner have recently been sick, currently feel sick, or have a new or an unexplained rash or sores, do not have sex. Speak to your GP or local sexual health clinic.

If you or a partner has monkeypox, the best way to protect yourself and others is to not have sex of any kind (oral, anal, vaginal). Do not kiss or touch each other’s bodies while you’re sick, especially any rash or sores. Do not share things like towels, toothbrushes, fetish gear and sex toys.


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Sexual Health West Sussex