Alert after local cases of mpox reported in Victoria


Man shows off plaster after mpox vaccination
Image: Thorne Harbour Health

Victorians at risk of mpox are being urged to get vaccinated after the first locally acquired cases of the virus in several months.

“There have now been 16 confirmed cases of mpox in Victoria since 18 April 2024. Thirteen of these cases were locally acquired,” Victorian Chief Health Officer Dr Clare Looker said in the alert on Tuesday (May 28).

The new cases of mpox (formerly monkeypox) are the first reported in the state since January 2024, she said.

“Mpox is a viral infection that usually results in a mild illness. Most people recover within a few weeks,” Dr Looker explained.

“However, some people may develop severe illness and require hospitalisation.”

What are the symptoms of mpox?

Mpox does not spread easily, but can transmit from person-to-person through close or prolonged skin-to-skin contact, for example during sex, as well as contact with contaminated items or surfaces and respiratory droplets.

Symptoms may include fever, chills, tiredness, headache, sore throat, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes and a rash, lesions or sores. Symptoms can occur up to 21 days after exposure.

Dr Looker said after an international outbreak in 2022, mpox continues to spread in many countries, including in African, European, Western Pacific, and South-East Asia regions, and the Americas.

“While the current outbreak has predominantly impacted men who have sex with men, anyone who has been in close and usually prolonged intimate contact with someone with mpox is at risk,” Dr Looker said.

Get up to date with vaccination

Dr Looker said anyone with symptoms should restrict contact with others and seek medical care.

“Get vaccinated if you are eligible to receive the mpox vaccine,” Dr Looker said.

“Two doses are required for optimal protection against transmission and severe disease. If you have not had your second dose, get it now.

“Mpox can be prevented by limiting your number of sexual partners during the current outbreak and ensuring that you have their contact details.

“Limit sexual partners for three weeks following your return from overseas countries where there are active mpox outbreaks.”

For more information, visit the Thorne Harbour Health website.

More on mpox:

‘Get vaccinated’: Alert after local mpox cases in Queensland

Sydney gay man on holiday shares his mpox story to bust stigma

Why the World Health Organisation officially renamed monkeypox

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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