Three New Local Cases of Mpox Have Been Confirmed In Victoria

Three New Local Cases of Mpox Have Been Confirmed In Victoria

The Victorian Department of Health have reported that in the past week, three new locally acquired cases of mpox (previously referred to as ‘monkeypox’) have been confirmed in Victoria.

Prior to this, the most recent cases in Victoria were nearly five months ago, in January 2024.

Since May of 2022, there has been a large outbreak of mpox in several countries around the world, which has predominantly impacted men who have sex with men.

mpox cases have generally been declining worldwide, but new cases continue to be reported. The majority of cases reported in the past month were in African and European regions; however, new cases are still being recorded in South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions, including countries such as Thailand and Vietnam.

According to the Victorian Department of Health, these trends of mpox cases appearing around the world, and the recent local cases indicate there is an “ongoing risk of mpox in Victoria from both local and overseas transmission”.

What is mpox?

Mpox is a viral infection. The mpox virus is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus which causes smallpox. It is a rare viral illness that can become serious.

Usually the infection results in a mild illness, and most people will see symptoms clear up on their own after 2 to 4 weeks. However, some people may develop severe symptoms which can require hospitalisation.

Who can mpox affect?

While the outbreak has predominantly impacted men who have sex with men, mpox can affect anyone. Those who have been in close and usually prolonged intimate contact with someone with mpox will be at risk of contracting the viral infection.

How can I get the mpox vaccine?

Any men who have sexual interactions with men are encouraged to get the mpox vaccine. For optimal protection, you need to have two doses of the vaccine – this drastically reduces risk of transmission and severity of the disease.

Free mpox vaccine is widely available for eligible people through certain sexual health clinics, hospitals, GPs and pharmacies. You can find you closest provider using Victorian map service.

Other locations to contact about the mpox vaccine include:

For more information, visit the Department of Health’s mpox factsheet, and for support, you can contact LGBTQI+ health services such as Thorne Harbour Health or ACON.

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