Vic monkeypox cases rising amid nationwide vaccine scarcity


Monkeypox vaccine cases

Monkeypox cases continue to rise in Victoria as the nation awaits the arrival of more vaccines to protect against the virus.

Victoria has now reported 40 of Australia’s 89 cases of monkeypox. Around 15 to 18 are active cases. Nearly half contracted the virus locally rather than overseas.

Over the border, one of the 42 cases identified in NSW was acquired within the state in addition to two others within Australia.

Victorian Deputy Chief Health Officer for communicable diseases Deborah Friedman described that as a ‘significant increase’.

“We are really the only state in Australia that’s seeing such an increase of local transmission.

“Just about half of our 40 cases have been acquired within Victoria rather than overseas.”

Monkeypox transmission

Queensland Health says monkeypox spreads through close contact with an infected person or animal, or material contaminated with the virus.

“Person-to-person transmission of MPX can occur through:

  • close physical contact with skin lesions/rash.
  • infectious body fluids.
  • contaminated materials such as clothing, bedding or towels.

“Transmission via respiratory droplets is less common and usually requires prolonged face-to-face contact.

“Transmission may occur between sexual partners during intimate contact such as kissing, sex, or skin-to-skin contact with the infectious skin rash.”

Vaccines

The first supplies of monkeypox vaccines only arrived in Australia earlier this month. Health authorities expect further supplies to arrive in late September.

Queensland received an initial allocation of 300 doses. According to Queensland Health, they have reserved those doses for close contacts and new cases. Local community members report being rejected when they inquired about getting a vaccination ahead of overseas travel.

The Australian government has secured 450,000 third-generation vaccines for monkeypox in what it described as a “highly-contested” global market for the jabs.

According to the Victorian Department of Health, a person who receives a vaccination within 4 days of their exposure to monkeypox will have a high chance of avoiding the disease. Vaccination between 4 to 14 days afterwards will likely lessen the severity of the disease.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at destinyr@qnews.com.au.

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