Figures published today show there have been 42 laboratory-confirmed cases of monkeypox reported in Scotland since 23 May 2022. This includes an additional two cases since our last report on 05 July 2022.
Any additional cases of monkeypox will be updated on the PHS monkeypox webpage.
As of July 2022, the current outbreak clade of monkeypox is no longer classified as a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) (external website), following review by the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) and agreement by the UK 4 nations public health agencies.
This decision has been taken because the current outbreak does not meet the criteria for a high consequence infectious disease, which is defined as having a high mortality rate and a lack of available interventions.
The change does not alter the public health response or measures taken to control monkeypox, but relates to which clinical pathways are used in the NHS.
Currently most cases in Scotland are in men who are gay, bisexual or have sex with men, and are primarily associated with recent travel to London or Europe.
The individuals are receiving care and treatment appropriate to their condition in line with nationally agreed protocols and guidance. Close contacts of the cases are being identified and provided with health information, advice and, where appropriate, vaccination.
Plans for a wider pre-exposure vaccination programme are in development for some gay and bisexual men at higher risk of exposure and some healthcare workers who work in high-risk settings. Full details on how eligible people can get vaccinated will be set out by Scottish Government in due course.
Monkeypox is a viral infection only recently detected in the UK. It is generally a mild self-limiting illness, spread by very close contact with someone already infected and with symptoms of monkeypox. Most people recover within a few weeks.
Dr Nick Phin, Director of Public Health Science and Medical Director at PHS, said:
“We continue to ask the public to be aware of the signs and symptoms of monkeypox, particularly as there are a number of large social events happening across the country currently.
“Anyone can get monkeypox and it is passed by close skin-to skin contact with someone who has the infection. Simple measures like checking for unusual blister-like rashes or blister-like sores on any part of the body before attending an event or party can make a real difference.
“By noticing a possible infection early and seeking medical advice, we can prevent onward spread within our communities”.
PHS continues to work with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), Public Health Wales and Northern Ireland HSC Health Protection Agency to monitor and respond to potential and confirmed cases of monkeypox in the UK.
Information on the symptoms of and treatment for monkeypox are available on NHS inform (external website).