Mpox (aka Monkeypox) continues to spread in many countries. In Victoria, the risk of local transmission linked to international travel remains.
The Mpox virus is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus which causes smallpox. It is a rare viral illness that can become serious.
In Victoria, the mpox vaccine (JYNNEOS® vaccine) is available free-of-charge for eligible people. The following criteria is taken from the Victorian Department of Health (https://www.health.vic.gov.au/infectious-diseases/monkeypox-mpx).
Post-exposure preventive vaccination (PEPV) for high-risk close contacts of Mpox cases, preferably within 4 days.
Primary preventive vaccination (PPV) for the following:
- Gay, bisexual, and other men, non-binary people assigned male at birth, or trans people who have sex with men (including cis and trans men) at increased risk of Mpox infection. Proxy markers for increased risk of Mpox infection may include:
- Those living with HIV.
- A recent history of multiple sexual partners, participating in group sex, or attending sex on premises venues.
- Other proxy markers, such as recent sexually transmitted infection or those being advised to take HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) due to the number of sexual partners.
- Recommendation from other service providers, such as sexual health clinics.
- Sex workers, particularly those whose clients are in high-risk categories listed above.
- Anyone in the above high-risk categories who is planning travel to a country experiencing a significant outbreak, with vaccination recommended 4-6 weeks prior to departure.
- Anyone at greater risk of a poor clinical outcome from Mpox infection, such as individuals with immunocompromise.
- Sexually active gay, bisexual, and other men, non-binary people assigned male at birth, or trans people who have sex with men (including cis and trans men) who are homeless or have significant drug use or psychiatric illness.
- Immunisation providers who are administering the ACAM2000™ smallpox vaccine.
- Laboratory workers who analyse specimens from Mpox cases.
- Vaccination may also be considered for healthcare workers at higher risk of exposure to patients with Mpox, including primary care, sexual health clinics, hospital staff and others, based on local risk assessments.
Signs and symptoms of Mpox can include:
- a distinctive rash, lesions (bumps that turn into pimples, blisters or sores, and may burst to form ulcers or scabs)
- swollen lymph nodes
- muscle aches
- joint pain
- back pain
Symptoms begin 5 to 21 days after exposure to the virus. You should seek medical advice straight away if you develop any of these symptoms after:
- returning from overseas
- being in contact with a case in Australia or overseas.
It is given as 2 doses, at least 28 days apart for people 18 years and over.
If you are eligible or interested in the Mpox Vaccination, make an appointment to speak to your GP. Call us on 9217 9400, book online or find us via the HotDoc app.