New monkeypox guidance tells high-risk close contacts to isolate for 21 days

Contacts of monkeypox cases at high risk of having caught the infection should self-isolate for 21 days, latest government guidance says.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) guidance now recommends that people who have had “unprotected direct contact or high-risk environmental contact” should isolate for three weeks.

This includes no travel, providing details for contact tracing and avoiding direct contact with immunosuppressed people, pregnant women and children under 12.

Those who are considered at high risk of having caught monkeypox may have had household contact, sexual contact, or have changed an infected person’s bedding without wearing appropriate PPE.

UKHSA also advises that they are offered a smallpox vaccine.

The guidance comes after Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser for UKHSA, warned that monkeypox is spreading through community transmission.

So far the agency has confirmed 20 cases in the UK.

Dr Hopkins said updated figures for the weekend will be given on Monday as she warned of more cases “on a daily basis”.

The disease, first found in monkeys, can be transmitted from person to person through close physical contact, including sexual intercourse, and is caused by the monkeypox virus.

Read more: New monkeypox guidance tells high-risk close contacts to isolate for 21 days

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