Monkeypox likely circulating for an extended period of time

In the month since the first monkeypox cases unrelated to travel were identified in the UK, new infections have been identified in at least 29 non-endemic countries - 1,088 confirmed cases in all up to June 7, according to the US CDC’s 2022 Monkeypox and Orthopoxvirus Outbreak Global Map. Most cases are in the UK (where from June 8 monkeypox will become a notifiable disease), Spain and Portugal, while in the US, the CDC is tracking at least two separate monkeypox outbreaks, finding links to imported cases identified in 2021. This suggests that strains of the virus have been circulating for some time. There have been no deaths reported and few hospitalisations associated with the outbreaks – the West African clade of the virus appears to be the only strain involved. The WHO hosted a meeting of experts last week to discuss knowledge gaps and research priorities for monkeypox. Meanwhile the agency has also warned that the incidence of diseases jumping species from animals to humans is becoming more common – borne out by the increased frequency of outbreaks of Lassa fever and Ebola. Read more in the June 4 situation update.  

Before you travel, call Travelvax Australia’s telephone advisory service on 1300 360 164 (toll-free from landlines) for country-specific advice and information. You can also make an appointment at your nearest Travelvax clinic to obtain vaccinations, medication to prevent or treat illness, and accessories for your journey.