New monkeypox case confirmed
A case of mpox – previously called monkeypox – has been diagnosed in Sydney, the first case found in NSW since November last year.
Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men are urged to be on the lookout for symptoms and to get vaccinated if they haven’t already, director of the South Eastern Sydney Public Health Unit Dr Vicky Sheppeard said.
“While our vaccination program against mpox, combined with people at risk monitoring for symptoms, has been very successful in controlling the spread in NSW, as long as cases continue in other countries there is a risk of new cases here,” Dr Sheppeard said.
“In NSW there were 56 mpox cases between May and November 2022.
“We believe that rapid rollout of the vaccination program to people at high risk of mpox and the reduction in the number of cases in the northern hemisphere both contributed to the lack of new cases in NSW until now.”
All cases of mpox that have been detected in NSW have occurred in men who have sex with other men, according to NSW Health, and the majority were caught while the individual was travelling overseas.
However, this most recent case was not associated with overseas travel, indicating that there may be local transmission of mpox in the community.
An outbreak of mpox starts with small pimple-like lesions which then spread and develop pus then crust over.
Other symptoms include mild fever, headache, fatigue and swollen lymph notes.
Mpox spreads through close person to person contact and is contagious until the lesions crust over and fresh skin covers the area.
Since May 2022 there has been a global outbreak of mpox with more than 87,000 cases reported, mainly affecting gay or bisexual men.
While overseas there have been some deaths associated with mpox, all cases in NSW have recovered and very few have required hospitalisation.
The vaccine against mpox is free in NSW for eligible groups and can be found through sexual health clinics.