Victorians are being encouraged to watch for symptoms and get vaccinated after the state recorded its first locally acquired case of mpox in almost six months.
The latest case of the virus, formerly monkeypox, isn’t linked to international travel, suggesting local transmission.
Mpox can affect anyone, but in 2022, a global outbreak predominantly impacted men who have sex with men.
Cases in Australia have fallen, however mpox continues to spread overseas and there’s an ongoing risk in returned travellers.
Acting Chief Health Officer Christian McGrath said it’s an important time of year to watch for symptoms.
“If you develop symptoms, our advice is to stay home, restrict your contact with others and book in an appointment with your GP or nearest sexual health service,” he said.
The mpox vaccine is available for free from over 250 providers across Victoria. Sexually active gay, bisexual, trans men and sex workers as well as their sexual partners are eligible.
McGrath urged anyone eligible in Victoria not yet double vaccinated for mpox to book in.
“For optimal protection, you need two doses of the mpox vaccine administered at least 28 days apart,” he said.
Mpox can develop into a rash, lesions or sores, with symptoms including fever, chills, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and sore throat.
The virus is transmitted predominantly through prolonged physical contact with someone with mpox.
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