Figures published today show there have been 71 laboratory-confirmed cases of monkeypox reported in Scotland since 23 May 2022. This includes an additional two cases since our last report on 9 August 2022.
Anyone can get monkeypox, however, currently most cases in Scotland are in men who are gay, bisexual or have sex with men, and are primarily associated with recent travel to London or Europe.
The individuals are receiving care and treatment appropriate to their condition in line with nationally agreed protocols and guidance. Close contacts of the cases are being identified and provided with health information, advice and, where appropriate, vaccination.
The wider pre-exposure vaccination programme has started in Scotland and vaccine is being offered to gay and bisexual men at higher risk of exposure and a small number of healthcare workers who work in high-risk settings.
Thus far, 3,000 vaccine pre-exposure doses have been apportioned to Scotland and these have been allocated to NHS Boards across the country who are working to offer vaccines to eligible individuals as quickly as possible.
Dr Nick Phin, Director of Public Health Science and Medical Director at Public Health Scotland, said:
“NHS Boards are currently identifying eligible individuals for vaccination through sexual health services, who are contacting people proactively, as well as inviting those who meet the criteria when they present at their usual appointments.
“With monkeypox cases increasing globally, there is increased demand for the smallpox vaccine that is used for the programme, yet there is a limited supply. We are continuing to work closely with colleagues across the UK to ensure additional vaccinations are available. We will continue to offer vaccine to those at highest risk until our current allocation has been used. A further batch is scheduled to arrive in the UK in September and, as more supplies become available, more people will be offered a first dose.
“If you are currently unvaccinated, please ensure you are aware of the signs and symptoms, take steps to reduce your risk of exposure to monkeypox and seek medical advice if you think you may have the infection.”
PHS continues to work with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), Public Health Wales and Northern Ireland HSC Health Protection Agency to monitor and respond to potential and confirmed cases of monkeypox in the UK.
Any additional cases of monkeypox will be updated on the PHS monkeypox webpage.