Monkey Pox

Infection Prevention and Control advice for Monkey pox in primary care

Monkey pox is a rare illness caused by the monkey pox virus. It is associated with travel to central and west Africa but cases are occurring in England with no travel links.

The symptoms of monkey pox begin 5-21 days (average 6-16 days) after exposure with initial clinical presentation of

  • Fever
  • Malaise
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Headache
  • Rash

The rash changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab which later falls off. The rash may be maculopapular initially, typically starting on the face before spreading peripherally, particularly to the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.

Spread of monkey pox may occur when a person comes into close contact with an animal (rodents are believed to be the primary animal reservoir for transmission to humans but monkey pox is not found in UK rodents at present), human, or materials contaminated with the virus. The virus enters the body through

  • broken skin (even if not visible),
  • the respiratory tract,
  • the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth).

Person-to-person spread may occur through:

  • direct contact with monkey pox skin lesions or scabs;
  • contact with clothing or linens (such as bedding or towels) used by an infected person;
  • through respiratory transmission, such as coughing or sneezing of an individual with a monkey pox rash.

Screening: All the patients attending appointments will be screened prior to coming into practices.


Signage: We have put clear signage near entrances to advice patients with symptoms of monkey pox (listed above) to not enter premises.